Defender Girish Ernak was the star for Gujarat Giants as they defeated Telugu Titans 34-32 in match 105 of Pro Kabaddi League Season 8 on Wednesday, February 9.
The left-corner defender scored a High 5 and was instrumental in giving the Giants a narrow lead in the final minutes of the match. The Titans once again struggled in the final 5 minutes of the match and squandered a 3-point lead. The win will help Gujarat remain with a chance of making it to the Playoffs. Titans’ Rajnish scored a Super 10 but had to be carried off the mat after suffering an injury early in the second half.
Gujarat Giants went to the mat with raiders Ajay Kumar and Pardeep Kumar on the bench. The Telugu Titans had the better start to the match with Rajnish looking swift. But Gujarat slowly found their footing with Rakesh and Mahendra Rajput getting the raid points. They smelled a chance to clinch an ALL OUT in the 14th minute, but Titans’ Galla Raju scored a 3-point Super Raid to stop the Giants. The Gujarat side kept pressing but against Titans’ Surinder Singh clinched a Super Raid with 2 minutes to half time. The first half ended with the scores 14-14 and Gujarat struggling to break a resolute Titans defence.
Coach Manpreet Singh had clear instructions to play an aggressive line of defence and that helped Gujarat clinch their first ALL OUT five minutes after the break. Left corner Girish Ernak was in form for the Giants while at the other end Rakesh picked points in regular intervals. Rajnish picked a Super 10 for the Titans but suffered a knee injury which led to him being substituted with 12 minutes remaining.
But the Titans refused to give up and their defence stepped their game up to stop the Gujarat defence. They had 9 points compared to Giants’ 2 in the 5 minutes after the first Time OUT. Adarsh’s 2 point raid (+2 for ALL OUT) cleared all the Gujarat men on the mat and gave the Titans a 3-point lead with 5 minutes on the clock. But Gujarat immediately drew level by not allowing any easy points to Telugu raiders. Girish Ernak clinched his High 5 as Gujarat took a narrow lead. With Rajnish off the mat, Telugu had very little raiding power and that helped the Giants secure the match in the final minute.
Featured photo: Pro Kabaddi