GUJARAT FORTUNEGIANTS began their home campaign with a bang by thrashing U Mumba 39-21 at The Arena in Gujarat. It was U Mumba’s second defeat of the season after winning two back to back games.
Gujarat skipper Sukesh Hegde opened the account for his side in the second minute of the game. Thereafter, the hosts took charge and dominated the rest of the game. Mumbai fell for each of Gujarat’s defensive strategies and looked toothless in the attack despite prominent names like Anup Kumar, Shabeer Bappu and Nitin Madane in their raiders list. The FortuneGiants inflicted the first All-Out of the game in only the seventh minute of the game as the score read 9-1 in their favor.
Things kept getting worse for the visitors as defenders kept making mistakes unlike the Gujarat defense, who looked supremely sharp. U Mumba succumbed to second All-Out of the game in the 19th minute as they trailed 20-6. Shabeer Bappu, who made three unsuccessful raids out of four, was replaced with Kashiling Adake to U Mumba’s problems. Both teams went into the break at 20-6.
The second half started with both skippers leading the teams in their raids. U Mumba added a few point to their tally due to Kashiling’s successful raids, however, the Gujarat’s score kept ticking after every raid, courtesy of Sachin and Rohit Gulia’s striking performance. It was a night to remember for Rohit Gulia as he racked nine points from 14 raids and three tackles.
U Mumba also suffered from the Anup Kumar’s absence from the mat as the skipper spent close to 15 minutes on the bench. A series of productive raids from Sachin and Rohit saw Gujarat inflict third All-Out of the night in the 37th minute, in order to extend the lead by 17 points (37-20).
The match eventually ended 39-21 in the favor of the home team, who now jumped to the top position in Zone A with 13 points from four matches.
Rohit Gulia: The young all-rounder looked to be on the top of his game straight from the outset, racking a total of nine points in the game. Gulia picked up eight touch points and one tackle point as he sent the likes of D. Suresh Kumar and Kuldeep Singh repeatedly to the bench. The 19-year-old left the Mumbai defence dumbfounded as they managed to tackle him just once in the entire game.
Sachin: The youngster has announced himself as one of the top raiders in the format. Sachin once again looked sharp as he made the most of Mumbai’s defensive errors. Raiding in tandem with Rohit and Sukesh, he picked seven touch points from just 12 raids.
Shabeer Bappu: It was surprising to see the star raider make uncharacteristic errors against Gujarat. Shabeer looked unusually slow on his feet as he saw himself get tackled in three of his four raids. Due to a disappointing performance in the first half, he was replaced with Kashiling Adake few minute before the first half.
Anup Kumar: The U Mumba skipper showcased a subdued performance through the night. Anup played atypically safe as he kept aiming only for bonus points. He picked just one touch point in 15 raids and succumbed to three unsuccessful tackles in the game.
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