Thalaivas pips Giants 42-39 in thrilling match

Thalaivas, which was without the injured right corner Sagar Rathee, returned to winning ways and moved into the top-six with 53 points from 18 matches
Giants suffered its sixth successive defeat and is 11th in the table with 36 points off 17 games
Giants suffered its sixth successive defeat and is 11th in the table with 36 points off 17 games

CHENNAI: A depleted Tamil Thalaivas team edged out an out-of-form Gujarat Giants 42-39 in a Pro Kabaddi League Season 9 thriller in Hyderabad on Sunday.

Thalaivas, which was without the injured right corner Sagar Rathee, returned to winning ways and moved into the top-six with 53 points from 18 matches. Meanwhile, Giants suffered its sixth successive defeat and is 11th in the table with 36 points off 17 games.

In the last minute of the match, the Tamil Nadu team was staring at an ‘All Out’, which would have tilted the contest in Gujarat’s favour. But, clever work from stand-in skipper Ajinkya Pawar ensured Thalaivas bounced back from the defeat to Jaipur Pink Panthers with a win. Besides Pawar (12 raid points), Narender (13 raid points) picked up a ‘Super 10’ on a night when the TT raiders sizzled at the Gachibowli Indoor Stadium.

Parteek Dahiya (10 raid points) and super substitute Chandran Ranjit (7 raid points) kept Giants in the hunt, but their efforts ultimately went in vain.

Although Thalaivas dominated the early exchanges, with the help of a flurry of points from Narender and ‘Super Tackles’ from corner defenders Arpit Saroha and Sahil Gulia, Giants inflicted the first ‘All Out’ in the 12th minute but still trailed 13-15. When the teams headed in for the half-time break, the southern side led 24-20.

Thalaivas began the second half on a positive note as it effected its first ‘All Out’ in the 25th minute to extend the cushion to eight (30-22) points. But, Giants came roaring back into the match after Ranjit was introduced post the 30-minute mark. The Gujarat side twice reduced the Tamil Nadu team to just one player on the mat in the final couple of minutes, but could not secure the crucial ‘All Out’ at the end.

In the post-match press conference, Thalaivas head coach Ashan Kumar provided an update on the fitness status of Sagar, who was stretchered off in the previous match. “May be, we will play him after three or four matches. He is with us, being treated for a knee injury. We do not want to task a risk with him,” said Ashan, who had earlier lost captain and lead raider Pawan Sehrawat to a season-ending injury.

RESULTS: Tamil Thalaivas 42 bt Gujarat Giants 39; Dabang Delhi 49 lost to Bengaluru Bulls 52

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