By Tridib Baparnash
Mumbai, Oct 24 (IANS) Gujarat Fortunegiants sealed their place in the Pro Kabaddi League (PKL) final after thrashing Bengal Warriors 42-17 in a lop-sided first qualifier at the NSCI Stadium here on Tuesday.
Bengal will, however, have a second chance to reach the final if they win the second qualifier against the winner of the third eliminator between Patna Pirates and Puneri Paltan.
Rakesh Narwal started the proceedings for Gujarat with a bonus in the opening minute even as Bengal quickly got into their act to equalise the scores at 2-2.
In the next few minutes, Gujarat surged ahead with a 6-4 lead before Maninder’s raid point reduced Bengal’s gap to 5-6.
Gujarat were in no mood to concede and within minutes brought their A game into play to get to a 11-6 lead by the 14th minute.
Bengal, however, managed to crawl back into the game and break the deadlock after seven minutes through Deepak Narwal’s raid, which they followed up with a super tackle making it 9-11.
Deepak got one point for Bengal in the next minute to further reduce the margin before Gujarat skipper Fazel Atrachali pushed Maninder out of the court as they went into the break with a slender 13-10 lead.
Coming back, Gujarat started dominating the proceedings by getting a super tackle to lead 19-10 and went on to add another three points, thanks to their raiders.
Struggling at 10-22, Bengal pulled back with a super tackle to trail 13-22 before Mahendra Ganesh Rajput’s successful raid helped Gujarat consolidate to 26-13.
Gujarat stepped on the gas by inflicting an all out on Bengal to take their lead to 29-14 even as Bengal managed to get two more points in the next minute to trail 16-29.
With just six minutes left, the Gujarat defenders grabbed Deepak by his ankle even as Sachin’s successful raid helped them stretch their lead to 32-16.
In the next few minutes, Sachin got a two point raid for Gujarat even as they inflicted another all out to make it 38-16.
Bengal failed to gain momentum and their hopes were further dashed as the Gujarat raiders continued to steal the points to eventually finish the contest at 42-17.
Bollywood superstar Akshay Kumar along with his family was also in attendance at the contest.
(Tridib Baparnash can be contacted at [email protected])
Post Source: Ians feed