Jaipur, February 21: Telugu Titans, needing a win to remain in the fray for a semi-final berth, did it in grand style by routing Bengaluru Bulls 40-22 with the help of two all-outs, one in each half. It was a team effort spearheaded by the low-profile Sukesh Hegde with eight points with good support from the defense.
When the team was facing an all-out with only Meraj Sheykh and Manoj Kumar remaining on court, the former caught rival captain Surjeet Narwal.
This super tackle was followed by another one from Manoj Kumar on Pawan Kumar and helped avert the all-out. From 4-5 down the winners came back roaring into the match to lead 8-5 from where they never looked back.
Bengaluru Bulls raised visions of a fight as they matched their superior opponents point for point till the 9th minute, and had they forced the all-out, things might have turned out differently for them on the day.
Sukesh Hegde, Rohit Baliyan, and Rohit Kumar, who came in with the third super tackle of the match ensured that the Telugu Titans led 18-10 at the break with the all-out being affected in the 18th minute. But surprisingly, their star Rahul Chaudhari disappointed today.
The second session saw the trend continue with Sukesh Hegde maintaining his success rate. Finally, the big moment arrived for Rahul Chaudhari when he got his first point, that too a bonus, in the 22nd minute.
His poor form, and that of Dharmaraj Cheralathan will be a constant source of worry for the Telugu Titans in quest of their goal. The second all-out on Bengaluru Bulls came in the 31st minute with the score reading 31-14 following two successful raids by Sukesh Hegde.
From then on it was just a matter of time for the Telugu Titans as the outcome became very clear. Sukesh Hegde ended with eight points. Rohit Kumar had six and Meraj Sheykh the all-rounder had five with one super tackle. Surjeet Narwal ended with seven but most of them came towards the end when all was lost.
You can catch the highlights of the match, presented by hotstar, below:Published 21 Feb 2016, 22:35 IST