Suraj Desai’s record-breaking Pro Kabaddi debut went in vain as Telugu Titans fell to a 33-34 defeat to Dabang Delhi at the Gachibowli Indoor Stadium in Hyderabad on Wednesday.

In the first match of the day, Bengal Warriors trounced UP Yoddha.

Suraj, the brother of Titans star Siddharth Desai, made his long-awaited bow in the competition against his former team Dabang Delhi for whom he couldn’t play any part due to injury two seasons ago.

With a point to prove, the Services raider was on the money from the word go, scoring two points in his first-ever raid. However, his heroics were matched Dabang Delhi’s Naveen Kumar who kept his team neck and neck with the home side in the early exchanges of the game.

In the dying minutes of the first half, Meraj Sheykh was Super tackled twice by Telugu Titans as they went into the break with a 14-13 advantage.

However, it was the Naveen Kumar show in the second half as five straight successful raids helped Dabang Delhi edge ahead after enforcing the first all-out of the game on the hosts.

The game again turned on its head in the 31st minute when Suraj made a four-point raid to put the Titans back in front at 28-26. With seven minutes remaining, Joginder Narwal brought all his experience into play to super tackle Titans’ Iranian all-rounder Farhad Milaghardan. It proved to be a crucial moment in the game as it spurred on Delhi to build a four-point advantage with five minutes to play.

Suraj, who broke his brother Siddharth’s record (jointly held with Rakesh Kumar) for most points on debut, cut the deficit back to two in the process but a bizarre decision to substitute him for a defender in the dying minutes allowed Dabang Delhi to hold on to a 34-33 victory.

It was Telugu Titans’ third straight home defeat.

Bengal Warriors thrash UP Yoddha

In the earlier game, Iran’s Mohammad Esmaeil Nabibakhsh, the most expensive foreign recruit this season, proved his worth in style as he bagged a super 10 to help Bengal Warriors trounce UP Yoddha 48-17.

The Iranian took a while to get going as he scored his first point in the 8th minute after three fruitless raids. But his first point coincided with the Warriors’ rise in the game as their three-pronged raiding attack proved too hot to handle for the erroneous UP Yoddha defence.

The three Bengal Warriors raiders - Maninder Singh, K Prapanjan and Nabibakhsh - contributed 24 points to the Warriors’ tally.

UP Yoddha were all-out four times in the game and never put up any fight after the early promise. They managed just five tackle points all game, allowing the Warriors trio to dominate.

Bengal Warriors, who failed to reach the final despite reaching the playoffs in the last two campaigns, gave a glimpse of their caliber this season with a resounding opening victory.

The Pro Kabaddi action returns on Thursday, with Dabang Delhi facing Tamil Thalaivas in a solitary match on the day.