Ahmedabad, Dec 5 (IANS): Top raider Sonu Jaglan turned out to be the hero once again in what was Fazel Atrachali’s 100th game as captain, helping Gujarat Giants power past former champions U Mumba 39-37 in Season 10 of the Pro Kabaddi League at the EKA Arena by TransStadia here on Tuesday.
Sonu was the star of Gujarat Giants' first two wins in PKL Season 19 against Telugu Titans in their first game and over Bengaluru Bulls in the second. On Tuesday, he was in his element once again.
The teams traded the lead in the opening few minutes and a two-point raid from Guman Singh saw U Mumba surge ahead 7-5 in the 5th minute. The Giants then brought in their trump card, Sonu Jaglan, in the 7th minute but he failed to get going initially. Rakesh H.S. came to the Giants’ rescue when he grabbed a bonus point and a running hand touch on Rinku Singh to give his team a slender lead at 10-9.
However, a superb Super Tackle from Mahender Singh saw U Mumba go 12-10 ahead around the 11th minute. Their lead swelled to six points soon after as Sonu was tackled in a do-or-die raid and Guman escaped with yet another raid point.
It appeared that U Mumba would ease into the second half, but with five minutes left, skipper Fazel Atrachali produced two moments of magic. First, he went on a raid and got the better of his rival captain Surinder Singh and then followed it up with a Super Tackle to bring the Giants back into the game at 16-18.
Sonu’s first raid point, early in the second half, saw the Giants draw level. There was no stopping him thereon as he picked up two huge points - Rinku Singh and Mahender - to reduce U Mumba to just one man on the mat.
U Mumba were All-Out in the next raid and the Giants took a 23-19 lead. Some brilliant raiding from Sonu, backed by a rock-solid defence saw the Giants soar to a 30-22 lead at the 30-minute mark.
Guman scored off three successive attempts and a few lightning-quick raids from Iranian all-rounder Amirmohammad Zafardanesh and Pranay Rane brought U Mumba within sniffing distance at 30-34. Zafardanesh came good again with less than two minutes left on the clock as he got past Atrachali and Manuj to inflict an All-Out and bring his side back on level terms.
But it was Sonu who had the last laugh as he produced a mind-blowing three-point Super Raid in the final minute of the game to steer the Giants to their third successive win, and in the process, he also brought up his third Super 10 on the trot.