In the opening game of Pro Kabaddi League season five, Telugu Titans beat debutants Tamil Thalaivas 32-27 at the Gachibowli Indoor Stadium in Hyderabad. Rahul Chaudhari was the star for the hosts as he secured his record 25th super raid to help his side register their first win of the season.
Telugu Titans assert their authority over Tamil Thalaivas
In the South Indian derby of the season, Telugu Titans won the toss and decided to take the court as skipper Ajay Thakur opened the scoring for the debutants, but Rahul Chaudhari levelled the score at 1-1. Both teams kept on exchanging points, but thanks to Chaudhari, the Titans held a 6-4 lead at the end of first 10 minutes. After two empty raids, Thalaivas’ Vineet Kumar successfully managed to score a point in the do-or-die raid, and the team followed it up by managing to get hold of the Titans’ skipper Chaudhari to produce a super tackle to take the score to 8-all. The Titans then continued their dominance as they inflicted the first all-out of the season in the 15th minute to take the score to 14-8 in their favour. Finally, although the debutants tried to script a comeback by scoring two back-to-back points, they failed to build on that as Titans went into the break with an 18-11 lead.
Rahul Chaudhari’s ‘Super 10’ helps Titans register their first win of the season
After the break, Chaudhari continued from where he had left off as he scored two successive points while also helping the Thalaivas tackle Amit Hooda to hand the Titans a 21-12 lead. Farhad Milaghardan then consolidated Titans’ dominance as he scored a touch point before Nilesh Salunkhe managed to get another touch point in the right corner to take the Titans’ to 24-14. But Thalaivas managed to a successful review to secure another point, but that didn’t halt Chaudhari’s splendid run on the mat as he took his raid points tally to 10 and led his team to a commanding 25-15 lead. But the Thalaivas were roared by the crowd and made a fantastic return as they sent Chaudhari off the mat to reduce the deficit to 25-17. But that had a very little bearing for the Titans, as they brought Thalaiva’s foreign raider Dong Geon Lee down to his knees with a fantastic ankle hold to move the score to 27-17. Though Prapanjan, the most impressive raider for the Thalaivas, secured one more point to reduce the deficit to less than 10, Thakur failed to get a raid point as the scorecard read 29-19 before referees called for an official timeout. With only five minutes to go in the match, it was too heavy a task for the Thalaivas to make a comeback and to add insult to the injury, Titans’ raider Vishal Bharadwaj scored a “High Five” before the Vizag-based team closed the game out at 32-27 to register their first win of the tournament.
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