Pro Kabaddi: Telugu Titans draw against Jaipur Pink Panthers 39-39
Telugu Titans started their home leg in dramatic fashion, with a 39-39 draw against the defending champions Jaipur Pink Panthers. Meraj Sheykh was named as the Titans captain at the start of the match and despite starting well, his team faltered in the second half to concede a draw.
Deepak Nivas Hudda got the first points of the opening match of the Hyderabad leg when he tagged Rohit Rana and returned to his half. Despite the visitors taking the lead at 2-1 in the 3rd minute when Rajesh Narwal came back after a successful raid, the Titans fought back and how. Sukesh Hegde got a super raid while Meraj Sheykh and Rahul Chaudhari were triumphant in their attacks as the away team were on the verge of an all out.
Rahul Chaudhari completed the all out on the Panthers as the home side established a healthy 10-2 lead in the 7th minute itself. After a couple of minutes, which yielded no points for either side, Rajesh Narwal was caught in his raid, while Sukesh won 2 points for his team as the Titans extended their lead to 11 points.
The home team maintained their momentum for the rest of the half, while Jaipur were getting points only through the Narwals – Rajesh and Sonu. Young defender Sandeep came up with a couple of spectacular tackles in the half to ensure the visitors could not stage a comeback. The half-time ended with the scoreline reading 20-12 in Telugu Titans’ favour.
Kashinathan Bhaskaran had a tough team talk to give as the defending champions were completely overwhelmed by the home team’s exuberance. Rahul Chaudhari was the star of the half, scoring 5 points while Sukesh Hegde, helped with those 2 raids, matched the young raider on the scoreboard. Sonu Narwal had a good half as well as he scored 4 points to keep the Panthers in the hunt.
Jaipur stage a dramatic comeback
Sonu Narwal started the second half in spectacular fashion, continuing his 2 successful raids from the first half to come up with 4 more points in his next 4 raids as he made it a 5-point game. The Panthers inflicted an all out on the home team in the 31st minute as they came back strongly to trail by just 2 points after trailing by 8 points in the 30th minute.
The former Indian international continued his good run by winning 2 more points for his side as they levelled the score at 31 each when Jasvir Singh returned successfully from his raid. The Titans suffered another all out with just 3 minutes to go in the half as the visitors took a 5-point lead (39-34). However, in the final 3 minutes, Rahul Chaudhari helped his side sneak a draw, which looked impossible a few minutes earlier.
The home side were shell-shocked in the second half, but rallied late in the half to ensure they did not lose their opening match in front of their own fans. This match saw 78 points being scored, the highest in the second season so far. Sonu Narwal and Rahul Chaudhari top-scored with 14 points each in the first match of the second half of Pro Kabaddi
Man of the match: Rahul Chaudhari
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