Pro Kabaddi League 2017: Telugu Titans win first match in three weeks; Haryana Steelers edge past hosts
Telugu Titans overcame some nervous moments to beat former champions U Mumba 37-32, while Haryana Steelers edged past hosts UP Yoddha 36-29 in a tight encounter
Lucknow: Telugu Titans overcame some nervous moments to beat former champions U Mumba 37-32 in an inter-zone challenge of the Pro Kabaddi League (PKL) Season 5 at the Babu Banarasi Das Indoor Stadium on Saturday.
The pendulum shifted either way with both teams going all out in the first half of the game before Titans, coming into the match on the back of a heavy defeat, won their second match of the season.
Skipper Rahul Chaudhuri (13 raid points) and Sombir Shekhar (8 tackle points) starred for Titans as U Mumba faltered in the crucial moments to suffer their fourth loss of the season.
Rahul started the proceedings with a touch point to give his team an early lead before being brought down crashing by the U Mumba defenders to level scores at 1-1.
Shabeer Bapu, the star of Friday's win against UP Yoddha, gave Mumbai an early lead along with his skipper Anup Kumar. But their joy was shortlived as Rahul once again proved why he is regarded as one of the best raiders, winning three points with a super raid to make it 5-4 in their favour.
The Titans inflicted an all-out in the ninth minute to lead 12-7 before U Mumba's Anup used all his experience to reduce the gap as the score at the end of the first half read 15-19 in favour of the Hyderabad side.
Coming after the break, Titans opened a nine-point gap in the 27th minute to lead 27-18. U Mumba got back in the game, thanks to their raiders who got their act together. The Mumbai side went on an eight-point run, tying the game at 27-27 in the 32nd minute, including an all-out of Titans in the 30th minute.
Just when it seemed like the Titans had run out of steam, Rahul scored with a two-point raid in the 34th minute to lead 31-28.
Sombir was colossal at the back for Titans and scored seven points in the first 30 minutes. With less than five minutes to go, Rahul scored two quick raid points to give Titans a 34-30 lead.
In the dying moments of the match, Titans inflicted an all-out to seal the match in style.
Steelers 'steal' a victory
Meanwhile, in the second match of the day, Haryana Steelers edged past hosts UP Yoddha 36-29.
The match turned out to be such a tight encounter that both the respective coaches had to be warned by the referees even as Haryana kept their calm to pip the hosts by a whisker.
Cricketer Suresh Raina was also seen cheering for his home team, which had only their poor defence to blame for their second consecutive loss in two days.
It started on an even note for both the sides with the halfway mark reading 15-12 in favour of the hosts but Steelers upped the ante in the second half to win the tie.
Haryana skipper and star defender Surender Nada and raider Vikas Kandola stole the show for the visitors on the night. Nada scored seven points whereas Kandola contributed nine points for the Steelers.
Home captain Nitin Tomar had a quiet night and could only manage to score five points.
Both teams began with vigour as they exchanged raid and tackle points in the opening minutes. Nitin was the most active raider for UP as the score read 4-4 after the first five minutes.
Ashish Chhokar made a successful raid in the 8th minute to give Steelers a 6-5 lead before Rishank Devadiga scored with a successful raid in the 11th minute to turn it in favour of the hosts 7-8.
Wazir Singh's raid point in the 12th minute helped UP to a 10-9 lead before they stretched it further to 13-9 after 16 minutes.
Haryana scored three points in the next three minutes to reduce the deficit to one point as they trailed 12-13 before UP made it 15-12 at the end of the first half.
UP began the second half strongly and led 19-15 after 24 minutes. Haryana looked down and out as UP extended it further to 23-17 after 27 minutes.
The home side looked in command till that point before the visitors made a strong comeback, inflicting an all-out and thereby reducing the deficit to two points.
With less than five minutes to go, it was advantage for the home side who were leading 28-26.
Vikas made a successful raid in the 35th minute as Steelers trailed 27-28 before levelling scores in the next minute at 29-29.
With less than a minute to go, Steelers forced another all-out to open up an assailable seven-point lead and turn it in their favour.
As the entire country comes together to pay respects to these fallen soldiers, Indian cricketers are also remembering the bravery of those who died to protect the country.
After the cricketer made these comments, several social media users reacted strongly to the controversial remark