File image of Patna Pirates in action in the Pro Kabaddi League.
After three months of thrilling action, the Pro Kabaddi Season 5 has reached its culmination with the Gujarat Fortunegiants taking on defending champions Patna Pirates in the summit clash at the Jawaharlal Nehru Indoor Stadium. The Gujarat side convincingly seized their position in the finals of the league by achieving a 42-17 victory against Bengal Warriors in the first qualifier in Mumbai. Patna continued their staggering form on the back of skipper Pardeep Narwal's juggernaut, defeating Bengal 47-44 here on Thursday. Pardeep clinched a total of 23 raid points in the second qualifier.
Addressing reporters ahead of the crucial final, Gujarat captain Fazel Atrachali said: "This has been a special season of Pro Kabaddi for me, to lead a new team and establish its position in the league.We have played as one, where everyone had amazing synergy with each other and successfully overcame the language barrier. We'll use the same strategy in the finals with our eyes on the prize!
Gujarat coach Manpreet Singh said he is looking forward to an electrifying final. "A strong strategy is the key to success in any sport. And that is a mantra that each team member of the Gujarat Fortunegiants follows. It a matter of pride that the team has reached the finals in our first year in the league. Led by the dynamic Fazel Atrachali, Gujarat Fortunegiants have displayed great team work, and strong sportsmanship. We have to now focus on winning the final."
On the other hand, a confident Patna skipper Pardeep Narwal said: "We started this season with only one goal in mind, to complete a hat-trick of titles for Patna Pirates. The journey has been great so far and I appreciate the effort put in by each and every member of the team, day in and day out. It's been a long and a fulfilling season for us with a lot of positives."
Patna coach Ram Mehar Singh on his part said: "Belief is all we started this season of Pro Kabaddi with. With back to back wins in Season 3 and 4, the pressure on us to perform was immense. I really appreciate the way this young team has come through in such a high intensity environment and performed to their fullest. Pardeep has been a revelation in the way he has led from the front with phenomenal performances throughout the season. Our eyes are firmly set on the title now and nothing less than a victory will satisfy the Pirates now," he added.