The hosts were outplayed on all the fronts by the Giants who now have moved to the top of the Group A
The stakes were high in the Zone A fixture which saw 2nd-placed Gujarat Fortune Giants take on 3rd placed Puneri Paltan at the Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex, Pune on Thursday.
However, it was Gujarat Fortune Giants who came out victorious against the hosts, condemning Pune by a dominant 20-35 scoreline. This was their third consecutive win against the Maharashtrian side this season.
It was an all-around performance by Gujarat, who were brilliant both in the defence and in the attack. In defence, they were aided by the trio of Sunil Kumar and Ruturaj Koravi who, along with Rohit Golia, managed to win 12 points from the position.
The visitors were also supported by an in-form Sachin who topped the raiding stats with 6 raid points (and 7 in total). Fortune Giants piled four all-outs on Puneri Paltan, who witnessed a disastrous raiding display.
In fact, Pune were able to manage just 6 points in raid points, with only Monu(2), Pardeep Narwal (1) and Parvesh(1) registering points through attack. In stark contrast, it was their defence that at least kept them in contention. Pardeep Narwal was again instrumental here, having scalped four tackle points.
The visiting team had come with an intention of piling more pressure at the top. A victory was enough Gujarat Fortune Giants to reclaim the top spot from U Mumba. Having achieved their target, they are now 1 point ahead of the fellow Maharashtrian side with 63 points.
As for the home team, a win was needed to go 18 points clear of Dabang Delhi, who had occupied the 4th place in Zone A. However, the loss now means that even if they retain their 3rd position, Delhi still have 5 extra matches in hand, meaning they could make a stunning comeback.
In the two previous meetings between the two teams, Gujarat Fortune had the bragging rights as they had emerged as the triumphing side of on both the occasions. Their last contest , which had been played at the Patliputra Sports Complex in Patna, had ended with Gujarat Fortune Giants winning by a comfortable scoreline of 37-27, Sachin at the Super 10.
In the week 9 of PKL, Puneri Paltan will now have to face Dabang Delhi at the Thyagaraj Sports Complex. On the other hand, Gujarat Fortune Giants will now face toppers U Mumba, a fixture that could very well be the decider of who will top the Group A.