Telugu Titans move to top of Pro Kabaddi table with 29-29 draw vs Puneri Paltan
The final match of the Hyderabad leg saw the home side Telugu Titans go top of the table after a 29-29 draw with Puneri Paltan. In a match where the visitors trailed throughout, the Titans rallied at the end to ensure the draw and an undefeated home leg.
Puneri Paltan won the first points of the match through Pravin Niwale, but the home side hit back straight away through Sukesh Hegde. Rahul Chaudhari, who had an unusually off day, was caught in the 3rd minute as Pune took the lead 2-1.
With the scores level 3-3 in the 6th minute, Wazir Singh, who was returning from injury, conjured up a super raid, winning 3 points for the Paltans. That started a stellar run for the visitors as they completed an all out on the Titans in the 8th minute to the shock of the home crowd. This was in stark contrast to Titans’ previous match when they had completed two all outs on Patna Pirates in the same amount of time. The home side were trailing 4-12.
The Titans sparked a comeback by chipping away at the away team’s lead through Deepak Nivas Hudda and Sukesh Hegde, who returned from his raid in the 16th minute after tagging 3 Paltan players. In the next minute, Deepak got his team level when he inflicted an all out on the Paltans.
The half ended with the home side trailing by 2 points (18-20). Puneri Paltans’ Wazir Singh scored 8 points in the half, while Sukesh Hegde got 6 for the home team. It was an engrossing half as the match swung more than a see-saw.
A frantic final minute
The home team levelled the score in the first two minutes of the second half by tackling Wazir and Deepak returning successfully from his raid. In the 28th minute, Wazir showed his quality by tagging 2 Titans as Pune established a 3-point lead. With 6 minutes to go in the match, the home side made it a 1-point game.
With the match tied at 27-27 in the 39th minute, the match sparked into life. Sukesh Hegde was caught while Pravin Niwale returned successfully from his raid as the Titans trailed by 2 points with less than a minute left. Prashant Rai delivered the goods by making it a 1-point game, while Pravin was caught by the Titans defenders as the home team levelled the score.
In the final raid, Deepak Nivas Hudda huffed and puffed but could not get his team the win as the match ended 29-29. Telugu Titans completed the home leg undefeated – 2 wins and 2 draws – which helped them displace U Mumba at the top of the table. Puneri Paltan’s Wazir Singh topscored with 12 points as they failed to notch their second win of the tournament.
Man of the match: Wazir Singh