Bengal Warriors were beaten 32-30 at the last moment of the second day of the Kolkata leg by Telugu Titans. The Warriors, on the back of a morale-boosting last-second win over Jaipur Pink Panthers, led throughout the match, but the Titans sneaked through at the end.
Dinesh Kumar went in for the first raid of the match and was unable to return as Telugu Titans took the lead. After 2 minutes, they were leading the home side 3-0. But, crowd favourite Jang Kun Lee from South Korea swung the momentum in the Warriors’ favour by returning successfully from his raid.
The home team went from strength to strength and levelled things up in the 6th minute. For the next 6 minutes, both teams exchanged points as neither let the other out of sight. With just 2 Titans defenders left, Dinesh Kumar went in to raid for the Warriors and he got star man Rahul Chaudhari out. Prashant Rai went in for the resultant raid, but got caught as the Warriors got the Titans all out in the 14th minute.
The home side extended their lead to 5 points in the next two minutes as the scoreline read 12-7 in Warriors’ favour. However, the Rahul Chaudhari-led side rallied and got three unanswered points with 3 minutes to go on the clock. Cheered on by the home crowd, Jang Kun Lee came back with a super raid, getting 3 Titans defenders out in a single attack to give the home side a 6-point lead.
At half-time, the scoreline read 16-10 in favour of the team from Kolkata while the away team coach Udyan Kumar faced a tough team talk. His team came into the match on the back of 2 wins, but faced a tough challenge in the second half to continue their flawless run. However, the home side would have to be careful in the second half as the last time Telugu trailed at the break was against Puneri Paltan, but they eventually won the match by 21 points.
Titans comeback once again in the second half
The away team got off on a brilliant start as buoyed by Prashant Rai’s forays in the opponent half, they reduced Warriors’ lead to 3 points in the first 2 minutes. The away side kept on chipping away at the home team’s lead, making it a 1-point game after 27 minutes when Rahul Chaudhari showed his agility to jump over the defender and bring the Warriors down to just 1 man.
Much to the delight of the crowd at the Netaji Indoor Stadium, Sunil Jaipal won 4 points in his raid, to not only prevent an all out, but also bring the numerical advantage in the home team’s favour. By the 31st minute, Kolkata were leading Hyderabad 24-21 as the offficials called a timeout.
In the 34th minute, the Titans completed an all out of the Warriors, but raider Jang Kun Lee got a bonus point. In the next minute, Telugu took the lead for the first time since the first half as they led the home side 26-25. With 3 minutes to go, the home side were leading 30-27 and it looked like they would seal the win, but the team in yellow had other ideas.
Deepak Hudda narrowed the deficit to just 1 point with just 1 minute to go. Rahul Chaudhari showed his quality at the end, returning with 2 points from his raid. Warriors’ Sunil Jaipal went for the raid with the clock showing 5 seconds left and unfortunately for the crowd, got caught as the Titans sealed a dramatic victory.
Man of the match: Deepak Hudda
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