Pardeep Kumar’s last-minute heroics helped Gujarat Giants beat Bengaluru Bulls 40-36 on the final day in Pro Kabaddi League Season 8’s Rivalry Week.
The raider scored a Super 10 (14 points) including 4 in the final minute to give Gujarat a very important win in their battle to secure a playoff spot. The Giants captain Sunil Kumar also had a good night in the right cover position with a High 5. Bengaluru Bulls will have only themselves to blame for the loss. A lapse of concentration in the final minutes cost them important points. Their raiders Pawan Sehrawat and Bharat scored Super 10s but didn’t get the necessary support from the defence.
There was very little to separate the two sides in an evenly contested first half. Bengaluru started the match brightly with their captain Pawan Sehrawat looking in good form. But the raider was pinned to the mat in the early minutes by Parvesh Bhainswal with a Super Tackle which temporarily gave Gujarat the momentum. But Bengaluru immediately took back the lead with Bharat also joining in the raiding duties. They kept probing the experienced Gujarat defence. Again, right when the Bulls smelled an ALL OUT possibility, Sunil Kumar came up with a Super Tackle. Pardeep Kumar’s 3-point Super Raid in the 15th minute gave Gujarat a slender advantage, but Pawan immediately clinched a 3-point Super Raid for the Bulls to douse the fire. The first half ended 15-14 with the Giants in the lead.
The defenders continued to dominate in the early minutes of the second half. Gujarat’s Sunil Kumar reached his High 5 with fellow cover defender Parvesh Bhainswal offering great support. Pardeep Kumar’s 2-point raid in the 9th minute after the restart gave Gujarat a chance to inflict an ALL OUT. They eventually got the game’s first ALL OUT with 9 minutes on the clock to build a 5-point lead.
Bharat and Pawan Sehrawat kept working extra hard on the mat to keep the Bulls within touching distance. Bharat raced to a Super 10 and made it a 2-point game with 3 minutes remaining. Pardeep’s high-pressure raid forced two Bulls’ defenders into falling out of bounds. But Pawan Sehrawat immediately clinched a 2-point raid to once again reduce Gujarat’s lead to 2 points. With a minute left to play Bulls got an ALL OUT to level the scores at 35-35. But Pardeep Kumar produced two 2-point raids in the final minute of the match to take the game completely away from the Bulls.
Featured photo: Pro Kabaddi