Despite being 11 points down at one time, Patna Pirates came back to beat Gujarat Fortunegiants 39-33 in a thrilling clash at the Shaheed Vijay Singh Pathik Sports Complex in Greater Noida on Saturday. Skipper Pardeeep Narwal, with 17 raid points, was the star of the match for Patna again.
Gujarat coach Manpreet Singh was in no mood to try out young players in his Gujarat Fortunegiants side despite failing to make it to the playoffs but the season six runners-up made a slow start to the game. RuturajKoravi tackled Patna’s PardeepNarwal in the first minute but the Pardeep came back to influence the match and push the Fortunegiants towards an All-Out.
But the defence-heavy Fortunegiants had other ideas as they pulled off a series of Super Tackles (two on PardeepNarwal and one on Mohammad EsmaeilMaghsoudlou) around the 10th minute to prevent the All-Out and move to a lead. Patna’s failure to revive PardeepNarwal quickly meant Gujarat slowly got into the game and ended the second half strongly. The first half ended 19-14 with Gujarat on top.
Gujarat dominated the early minutes of the second half and secured an All-Out in the seventh minute when Rohit Gulia pulled off a multi-point raid. Gujarat might have thought their 11-point lead would see them through but PardeepNarwal and Patna had other ideas after the All-Out. Their aggressive approach paid rich dividends when the Pirates managed to inflict an All-Out on Gujarat to reduce the lead to a solitary point.
The match continued to be closely fought as both sides exchanged leads. GB More clinched his Super 10 and was instrumental in giving Gujarat the lead going into the penultimate minute of the match. A strong tackle on PardeepNarwal gave Gujarat a one-point lead. But Jang Kun Lee’s raid point and Maghsoudlou’s strong tackle once again handed Patna the lead in the final minute. PardeepNarwal did the finishing act with a two-point raid that almost sealed the victory. The team wrapped up the final Gujarat player on the mat with a team tackle in the last play of the match to clinch an All-Out and the match.