Pro Kabaddi: Bengaluru Bulls tops standings with win over Telugu Titans; Haryana Steelers beats UP Yoddha in a thriller

While Haryana Steelers beat UP Yoddha 36-35 in a last raid thriller, Bengaluru Bulls held their nerve to defeat Telugu Titans 36-31 and go top of the table in the Pro Kabaddi League 8 in Bengaluru on Sunday.

Bengaluru Bulls captain Pawan Sehrawat had a Super 10 in his team's 36-31 win over Telugu Titans in the Pro Kabaddi League 8 in Bengaluru on Sunday.   -  PKL

Haryana Steelers beat UP Yoddha 36-35 in a last raid thriller, while Bengaluru Bulls held its nerve to defeat Telugu Titans 36-31 and go top of the table in the Pro Kabaddi League (PKL 8) in Bengaluru on Sunday.

In the first match of the evening, Jaideep and Mohit got High 5s for Haryana, which clinched a win in the last raid of the match. With scores tied, raider Vinay sneaked in a quick Bonus Point right under the nose of Yoddha’s left corner to give coach Rakesh Kumar's men a victory.

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Surender Gill wasn’t part of the Yoddha squad which meant a bigger role for Pardeep Narwal. The‘Record Breaker’ did not disappoint in the early minutes, bringing out his ‘Dubki’ to score early points and give UP a lead. Surender Nada and Mohit gave the Steelers consecutive Super Tackles to shift the balance of the match. They levelled the scores with Vinay aiding Vikash Kandola in the raids. The first half ended 15-14 with coach Rakesh Kumar’s Steelers in the lead.

Haryana went full throttle in the early minutes after the interval. It got its first All Out in the 3rd minute as cover defender Mohit reached his High 5. Rohit Gulia and Vikash Kandola kept picking up the raid points as well to widen the lead. Haryana had a chance to inflict another All Out in the 10th minute but Yoddha’s last man standing, Mohammad Taghi, produced a four-point Super Raid to get his team back in the match.

UP reduced Haryana’s lead to just three points with five minutes remaining. It got an All Out with four minutes on the clock to make the scores 31-32. Haryana’s Jaideep clinched his High 5 but Yoddha's Shrikant Jadhav pulled off a three-point Super Raid to level the points with a minute remaining. Yoddha, however, threw away the match by misjudging a bonus point by Vinay in the last raid of the match.

- Bengaluru Bulls back on top with win over Telugu Titans -

In the second match of the evening, Pawan Sehrawat’s Super 10 helped Bengaluru Bulls beat Telugu Titans 36-31. The Bulls captain scored 12 points, 10 of which came in the first half, as the Season 6 champions kept calm in the final minutes of the match to win the South Indian derby. The win helped the Bulls move to first on the points table and stop a three-match losing streak. The Titans remained at the bottom with just one win in the entire season.

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Rajnish missed out of the Titans squad and that certainly hampered their performance in the first half. Bengaluru and Pawan Sehrawat started the match with high intensity and Titans could not match it. They succumbed to an All Out in the 10th minute to trail by seven points. Pawan and Bharat kept pushing the Titans' defence that had no answers for their dynamism. Chandran Ranjith's absence was not felt on the mat by the Bulls as they opened an 11-point lead by the end of the first half (22-11). Pawan Sehrawat also picked his Super 10 in a half that belonged completely to the Bulls.

The Titans defence looked much more confident in the early minutes of the second half as they prevented the Bulls from running away with the lead. Akash Choudhary and Surinder Singh contributed with tackle points while Ankit Beniwal took turns with Adarsh T in raiding duties. Bengaluru had an eight-point lead with 10 minutes remaining but only had three men on the mat.

The Titans got their first All Out with seven minutes on the clock to reduce the Bulls’ lead to five points. Akash Choudhary clinched his High 5 as the Titans put pressure on the Bulls in the final minutes of the match. But Deepak Narwal’s raiding and Saurabh Nandal’s solid tackling ensured the Bulls have five-point lead in the last minute.

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