Pro Kabaddi League 2021 Highlights: Pro Kabaddi Season 8 kicked off in Bengaluru as the action returned to the mat after a gap of two years with the last year being devoid of action due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In the last match of the day, Patna Pirates beat the Haryana Steelers in a close match which ended 42-39 in favour of the Pirates.
Earlier, Gujarat Giants beat Jaipur Pink Panthers 34-27 in a Pro Kabaddi League match here on Thursday. In another match, Dabang Delhi beat Puneri Paltan 41-30 with Naveen Kumar scoring 16 points.
In the first match, Girish Maruti Ernak secured seven tackle points and was ably accompanied by teammate Parvesh Bhainswal (4 raid points) as Gujarat secured an important victory to open their campaign.
Jaipur didn’t have the raiding strength against a well-oiled Gujarat defence but will take positives from a tactically-fought match.
The match started as expected with both defences thwarting the raiders. The first 10 minutes of the match saw no multi-points raids despite both sets of raiders struggling to make an impact.
The first momentum shift of the match came courtesy a brilliant tackle by Gujarat’s left corner Girish, who pinned Nitish Narwal on the floor from a seemingly difficult angle.
Riding on the energy, Rakesh clinched a two-point raid to inflict the first “all out’ on the Pink Panthers in the 10th minute to make the scores 13-17 in Gujarat’s favour.
But Pink Panther quickly clawed their way back into the match, with new recruit Arjun Deshwal impressing in the raids.
Gujarat’s Rakesh missed a bonus point in a ‘do-or-die’ raid and that handed the advantage to the Panthers.
Jaipur capitalised to get their first all out with two minutes to half time and reduced Gujarat’s lead to just one point.
The first half ended with Gujarat in the lead at 19-17. They maintained the intensity in the second half to log home full points.