Telugu Titans outplayed Tamil Thalaivas 35-30 to clinch their Pro Kabaddi League encounter at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium, Bengaluru on Monday.
Siddharth Desai picked up nine raid points and Vishal Bhardwaj continued with his impressive marshalling of the defence with six tackle points for the Titans as they saw out a spirited fight by the Thalaivas led by young Ajith Kumar who finished with a Super 10 (13 raid points) to his name.
The Thalaivas, on the back of a demoralising defeat against arch-rivals Bengaluru Bulls on Sunday, started the match with a changed line-up as youngsters Ajith Kumar and Anand found a place in the starting seven. But it was Rahul Chaudhari, chasing a milestone of 900 Pro Kabaddi points, who started the raids for the Thalaivas, looking to do a double over the Hyderabad team as the Thalaivars had won the previous encounter between the teams.
Despite the wealth of experience in their ranks, the Thalaivas looked a disjointed team – a case of too many cooks spoiling the broth – as Titans forced an All-Out with less than 4 minutes remaining in the match to build a nine-point lead.
Ajith Kumar got to his Super 10 in the final minutes and ensured the Thalaivas lost with a margin less than seven points but coach E Bhaskaran will be left with a lot to wonder as his side suffered a fifth straight loss.
Before this match at the same venue, Haryana Steelers cruised to a 41-27 victory against Puneri Paltan, courtesy ace raider Vikas Kandola.
The star raider clinched a Super 10 (11 raid points) as his team outperformed Pune in all departments to jump to the second in the points table. The match had been billed as an encounter between the hard-tackling Pune side and the raid-heavy Haryana team and the early minutes certainly lived up to the hype with both teams matching each other.
Young Pankaj Mohite, playing his rookie season, showed why he is a highly-rated raider with some positive raids for Pune but it proved too late as Pune slumped to another defeat.
(With inputs from IANS)