Pro Kabaddi: Telugu Titans destroy Patna Pirates 54-32
Telegu Titans hammered Patna Pirates 54-32 at home. In the absence of Rakesh Kumar, Patna Pirates surrendered meekly against the home team who were absolutely dominant throughout the match. Rahul Chaudhari and Meraj Sheykh were the stars of the match as the Pirates’ resurgence was brought to an abrupt halt.
Starting the match like a team possessed, the Titans took just 5 minutes to inflict an all out on the Patna Pirates. Rahul Chaudhari was the star as the Titans led 11-5 to the delight of the full Gachibowli Indoor Stadium.
Deepak Nivas Hudda got in the act and in the 9th minute, completed the second all out for the Pirates. It took them just 4 minutes to inflict an all out on the visitors and establish a dominant 20-5 lead with three-quarters of the match still to go.
Sandeep Narwal tried to put up a fight when he showed his agility to jump over Sandeep Kandola and win 2 points for his team. However, his opposite number, the Telugu Titans captain Meraj Sheykh had something special in store for the fans.
The Meraj Sheykh show
In his first raid of the match, the Iranian won 4 points for the home team in a spectacular show of strength to increase the home team’s lead to 29-9. With just Deepak Narwal left for the Pirates, the Titans completed the third all out of the match 3 minutes before the end of the half. In the penultimate minute of the half, Meraj repeated the same feat by winning 4 more points for the Titans as the home team led by a massive 16 points!
The half ended with the Telugu Titans leading 38-12. Meraj Sheykh had gone in for just 2 raids in the half and returned with 8 points.
The Pirates suffered their fourth all out in the first minute of the second half when Rahul Chaudhari won 2 points in 2 raids for the Titans and Ravi Dalal was caught in his raid. The Titans had increased their lead to 30 points at this stage (43-13). Both the teams exchanged points till the 30th minute as the Pirates were afforded a breather by the Titans.
That seemed to have revived the Pirates as they got an all out of their own in the 33rd minute when Deepak Narwal won 2 points in his raid and Prashant Rai was caught by the Patna defenders to reduce the deficit to 25 points (49-24).
Sukesh Hegde completed the half-century for the team in the 35th minute, but the Pirates kept on chipping away at the lead till the end of the match. The Sandeep Narwal-led side reduced Titans’ lead to 22 points when the full time buzzer went with the scoreline 54-32 in favour of the home team.
It was a good performance in the final 10 minutes from the visitors, but the home team had secured the win after a stellar first half. The Telugu Titans closed the gap to league leaders U Mumba to just 1 point in the Pro Kabaddi league table. Rahul Chaudhari and Meraj Sheykh returned with 11 points from the match.
Man of the match: Meraj Sheykh
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