Pune: Telugu Titans registered a thrilling win by edging Jaipur Pink Panthers 27-25 by inflicting a last raid all-out over their rivals. While Dharmaraj Cheralathan, the winning captain marshalled his resources well, their coach Ramesh Bhendigiri came up with a masterstroke when he introduced the tall Prashant Rai in a last ditch effort to salvage the situation in the dying minutes of the game.
This was Telugu Titans’ fourth win and with 22 points they retain their third spot in the Season 3 of the Star Sports Pro Kabaddi. Jaipur Pink Panthers remain in fifth place with 15 points.
Prashant scored two points in his very first raid in the 37th minute of the match to bring his side close at 23-20. Sonu Narwal, the leader of the rival attack was then trapped by Meraj Sheykh who followed it up with a two-point raid. That gave the winners the equalizer at 23 all.
Rajesh Narwal who had an off day went in for the second last raid. He got a bonus and one of his body feints put Dharmaraj Cheralathan out of court. Those two points helped the losers go ahead at 25-24 after Rajesh was caught. His dismissal meant Ran Singh was left alone for Prashant Rai to get the all-important all-out which he did with ease and the victory was his and Telugu Titans.
The match started on a slow note with both teams not keen on stepping on the accelerator. Sonu Narwal and Iranian Mohammad Maghsoudlou got the attack going for the losers while Meraj came up with an all-round show with four raid points including a bonus and a tackle point in addition. Jaipur suffered as a result of Rajesh Narwal’s inability to score. The Telugu Titans suffered a blow losing Issac Anthony to an injury but the replacement Virender proved to be better. At 12-9 at the end of the first half the Telugu Titans had a slight edge.
Although their attack failed to fire, the losers kept up with their opponents with as many as three super tackles. Kuldeep who seemed assured today came up with two getting rid of the dangerous Meraj and Virender. The third came from Samarjeet on Dharamaraj. The winners responded with one through Meraj. This super tackle kept his team in the hunt as the lead was whittled down to 16-20. Finally, the pressure affected both the sides and Jaipur Pink panthers caved in to hand over an important win to their rivals.