Telugu Titans played out a highly entertaining 42-42 tie against Patna Pirates in their Pro Kabaddi match in Pune on Friday.
Pardeep Narwal, with 17 raid points, was once again the star for Patna as they came back from being six points down to nearly winning the match. Telugu Titans will consider themselves unlucky to come away with a tie despite two raiders - Siddharth Desai and Rajnish - clinching Super 10s.
The first half saw fortunes change for both the teams.
Titans started on the front foot with their defence managing to control Patna’s Narwal while Rajnish and Siddharth picked up raid points for the men in yellow.
Rajnish’s dominant three-point Super Raid in the 5th minute, and a strong defence led by Vishal Bhardwaj, helped Titans inflict an All-Out in the 8th minute to open up a five-point lead.
Rajnish continued to be the primary attacking weapon for Titans as they moved in towards the final minutes of the half.
But Narwal came to the rescue of the Pirates and his four-point Super Raid, with under two minutes remaining, helped Patna secure an All-Out and the raider followed it up with a massive three-point raid to level 19-19 in the final play of the half.
Despite the setback, Titans had looked the more composed team on the mat, and they knew they could go on to win the match if they increased Narwal’s time away from the mat.
The defence rose to the challenge, thwarting all the Patna attacks, while Rajnish had impressive early minutes as Titans once again opened up a lead and clinched an All-Out with eight minutes remaining.
Rajnish secured his Super 10, while at the other end Narwal also secured the milestone with more than five minutes left in the match. He ensured the Pirates clinched an important All-Out two minutes left in the match to make it a one-point game.
The final moments saw both sides squandering an opportunity to win the match with a safety-first approach which resulted in a draw that does both the teams no good in their bid to make it to the playoffs.
In the second match of the day, Puneri Paltan ensured they finished the home leg with a win as they beat defending champions Bengaluru Bulls 42-38. Pune’s win ended a three-match winning streak of Bulls. Despite two raiders from Bulls crossing 10 points (Pawan Sehrawat and Rohit Kumar), Pune managed to win by four points. Pankaj Mohite was the star for the hosts with 17 raid points.
The league now moves to Jaipur.