Vishakhapatnam: A successful last raid of the match by Rahul Chaudhari with the help of a TV review gave hosts Telugu Titans a 27-26 win over a new look Puneri Paltan in an edge of the seat thriller in a Season 3 Star Sports Pro Kabaddi League at the Rajeev Gandhi stadium.
The match was very close in the end as the hosts clawed back from a 17-14 deficit at half time. An all-out inflicted by the visitors had given them a good six point cushion with the score reading 17-11 just a minute earlier. Manjeet Chhillar who had migrated from Bengaluru put up a solid defence to give Pune the early advantage.
On the raiding side was Deepak Hooda at the forefront for Pune. Knowing a few of his former teammates well he bothered the Titans defence. With Rahul Chaudhari also not making an impression the Titans found it difficult to keep the score ticking.
The change of ends saw the losers edging ahead through some good work from Ajay Thakur after his revival. He affected two perfect tackles to the surprise of many who know him as an ace raider. The margin grew wider at 24-19 and with the match entering the 35th minute Telugu Titans brought Rohit Baliyan for Vikas Kale and the move paid dividends. He got a bonus and added the scalp of Prashant Chavan to narrow down the lead to 22-24.
With the tension palpably high, Ajay Thakur was snared by Manoj Kumar in the rival half. A couple of points by the ever consistent Sukesh Hegde put the Titans ahead at 26-25. Pune equalized through Yogesh Hooda and the stage was set for the last raid. Rahul kept his cool and made a lunging hand touch. The umpire set aside his claims for a touch on Deepak. Confident of what he had done, he immediately appealed for a review. It proved successful much to Rahul and the home team’s fans. After the opening day’s disappointment it was time to rejoice for the Titans.