PKL 2017 | Gujarat end home leg with an exhilarating draw

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PKL

PKL 2017 | Gujarat end home leg with an exhilarating draw

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SportsCafe Desk

08/17/2017

Deepak Narwal scored 3 points in the last 2 raids to force a 26-all draw against Gujarat, who failed to secure a perfect record in their home leg. Sachin, Mahendra, and Sukesh Hegde managed to bring the hosts back into the game after a disastrous first half, accounting for 20 of Gujarat's 26 points.

Tactical blunder by Gujarat hands Bengal a halftime lead

Gujarat Fortunegiants won the toss and invited Bengal Warriors to raid first and the visitors responded with a successful raid in their first attempt. Sukesh Hegde’s bonus point helped the hosts level the score 1-1 but Bengal were able to send Rohit Gulia packing with Deepak Narwal’s hand touch being enough to earn another point. Bengal’s defence sent Gujarat’s skipper out of the game to double the lead. Sachin’s one bonus point reduced the deficit and he was at it again with another one to give his side the lead after the visitors had leveled the score at 3-3. Gujarat’s star was at it again as he earned another two raid points but Maninder’s successful raid compounded with their defence’s tackle on Rohit Gulia mean that the score remained close at 6-5. It was then Jan Kun Lee’s turn to show off his talent and with a successful raid helped his team bring the score level at 6-6. 

Gujarat faced do or die raid where Sukesh easily got one point for his team but Deepak Narwal again levelled the game in the very next raid. Deepak Narwal was getting into his groove as the pressure was beginning to tell on the home side as Gujarat’s defender stepped out of the mat. Sukesh failed to score in the do or die raid which meant that Bengal had acquired a 7-9 lead. The game turned when Gujarat made a tactical blunder bringing in raider Mahendra in place of defender Sunil Kumar, when they had just two men on the mat, which forced Fazel to attempt a tackle, which he missed. With Maninder unable to secure a point Bengal were able to inflict the first all-out of the game as the scoreboard read 8-13. Following the restart a complacent Bengal Warriors allowed Rohit Gulia and Sachin to add two points, on successful raids, to the Gujarat score as the half ended 14-10 in favour of the Warriors. 

Exceptional Deepak Narwal forces a draw in the final minute

At the start of the second half, Bengal managed to maintain the lead as Maninder got one point through his raid and he dashed Sachin perfectly but Gujarat got a point of their own but a successful Lee raid ensured the away side maintained a six point lead with the score at 11-17. Gujarat once again faced a do or die raid only this time Sukesh got a point on the board. Maninder, on the other hand, failed to recreate his counterpart’s move which meant that the deficit had been reduced to just 4 points. By now, Sukesh Hegde was in the zone as he scored three points in one raid which included two touch points and one bonus points. Deepak Narwal’s running hand touch increased Bengal’s lead but Sukesh was not done yet as he kept his team in the game with the scoreboard reading 16-19. Sachin was also picking up his form that has seen him become one of the best raiders in this season’s PKL and picked up a very important point for his side.

It was then Gujarat’s defence’s turn to step up and step up they did, stopping Maninder in his do or die raid as the scoreboard showed them trailing by just one point. With just three players on the mat, Surjeet lost his balance and Mahendra was quick to capitalize and levelled the score at 19-19. Bengal brought Lee back into the game and he repaid his team’s faith with a raid point but on the other side an unnecessary tackle on Sachin resulted in the Korean making his way back to the bench. Gujarat came back roaring back reducing Bengal to just one player and took the lead with a few minutes to go. Bengal’s last player, Bhupender Singh, however, turned the game in his side’s favour again as he got one bonus point and managed to sent two Gujarat players out of the game with the scoreboard reading 21-23. Mahendra Rajput, however, looked like a man on a mission as not only did he secured three points, through his Super Raid, for his side, but also inflicted an all-out on the visitors to hand his side a 26-23 lead with just over a minute to go. But it was Deepak Narwal’s time to shine as he not only did he earn two crucial points his penultimate raid, he was also able to get a point off his last one to share the spoils with Gujarat. The result meant that Gujarat finished their home leg with an impressive record of five wins and a draw.

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