HYDERABAD: Telugu Titans secured just its second win, and the first since October 11, in the ongoing Season 9 of the Pro Kabaddi League defeating U Mumba 32-26 here on Saturday.
The home team gave its success-starved fans something to cheer for with a gritty display that rode on collective contribution. The stadium was packed to the rafters with every point scored by Titans being met with thunderous applause.
The Titans duo of raider Siddharth Desai and defender Parvesh Bhainswal stood out with an impressive display under mounting pressure. At half-time, U Mumba was ahead by a slender one-point advantage at 15-14, but Titans grew in confidence as the match progressed and steadily extended its lead drawing errors from U Mumba.
Just when it looked like the match was heading for a photo finish, Titans inflicted an ‘All Out’ in the 32nd minute to take a crucial three-point lead at 25-22. With time running out, U Mumba committed more errors in search of valuable points and Titans held its nerve to record a morale-boosting victory. With the victory, Titans ended a 12-match losing run.
Earlier, a knee injury to in-form raider Surender Gill in the initial stages of the match became too much to overcome in the end as UP Yoddhas went down to Jaipur Pink Panthers 29-42.
The Jaipur team began in a whirlwind fashion and displayed excellent defensive skills to run up a 10-point lead inside the first 10 minutes itself. Yoddhas was also inflicted with its first ‘All Out’ in that time and it did not help that Surender had to leave the mat with injury and its other key raider, Pardeep Narwal, was taking time to get into his groove.
Jaipur’s defensive performance continued well into the first half, which ended 22-10 in its favour, with as many as eight tackle points among them. A second ‘All Out’ was inflicted on the Yoddhas right after the break and the lead extended to 14 points.
Yoddhas then provided a semblance of a fightback led by yet another ‘Super’ 10 effort by Pardeep Narwal. It also managed to inflict an ‘All Out’ on Pink Panthers and with over seven minutes remaining, the lead was brought down to 12 points. However, that would turn out to be the best phase of the match for UP Yoddhas as Arjun Deshwal, with 19 raid points in the match for Jaipur, ensured that his team emerged a deserving winner.
In the last match of the evening, defending champion Dabang Delhi defeated Patna Pirates 30-27 in a repeat of last season’s final.
RESULTS: Jaipur Pink Panthers 42 bt UP Yoddhas 29; Telugu Titans 32 bt U Mumba 26; Dabang Delhi 30 bt Patna Pirates 27