In one of the most thrilling encounters of the league so far, Telugu Titans and Bengaluru Bulls played out a 21-21 tie in Nagpur. Despite facing a five-point deficit in the last two minutes of the game, Rahul Chaudhari showcased sublime skill to make the game a memorable one.
Bengaluru manage a slender first half lead
Telugu Titans skipper Rahul Chaudhari won the toss and decided to raid first. The first three raids from both the sides were empty raids and Titans’ raider Nilesh Salunkhe drew the first blood with a bonus point for his side before Bengaluru skipper Rohit Kumar levelled the game at 1-1. While the game was touted as the face-off between the two raid machines Rohit Kumar and Rahul Chaudhari, the defence showed great skills as the scorecard read 4-4 even after ten minutes of the game. Rohit Kumar then had to pay the price for going far too deep into the Titan's’ area as he was sent to warm the bench before Ravinder Pahal’s powerful double thigh hold on Salunkhe again levelled the score at five-all. Though Chaudhari managed to get two consecutive points to give Titans an 8-6 lead, he injured himself in the process. However, after a small medical time out, he decided to continue, only to be thrown off the mat by Mahender Singh. But that took little bearing in the game as Bengaluru went into the half with a minuscule one-point lead at 9-8.
Rahul Chaudhari helps Telugu stem their losing streak
The second half started on a good note for the Bulls as Titans’ Rakesh Kumar lost his patience and committed a false tackle, which gave Bulls a point. Unlike the first half, Bengaluru started to play attacking kabaddi as skipper Rohit Kumar managed a successful raid in the left corner which left the Titans with the only one man on the mat - Salunkhe. Salunkhe, though, remained successful in securing a bonus point, but that was to no avail as he was brought down to his knees by a powerful ankle hold by Pahal, which resulted in Bengaluru inflicting the first all-out of the game at 11-8. But amidst all that, Salunkhe kept his successful run on the mat going by getting one bonus after another to keep the Titans in the game and Vishal Bhardwaj pinned Ajay Kumar on the mat to take the score to 13-12. But clearly determined to keep their dominance going, the hosts pinned Salunkhe before Sachin Kumar got hold of young Rakshith to give them a 16-13 lead to the side. With only seven minutes of the game remaining, it was still anybody’s for the taking as neither were ready to give an inch to the other with Bengaluru gaining a small three-point lead at 18-15. Then, with less than three minutes to go in the game, Harish Naik secured his second raid point for Bengaluru before the defenders handed them another point which took the game to 20-15 in Bengaluru’s favour. After that, however, Telugu managed a stunning comeback as Chaudhari rose to the occasion in the dying stages of the game to take the game close and finish it resulted in a nail-biting tie with the final score at 21-21.
Pardeep Narwal or Rohit Kumar? Which skipper will have more points?
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