Tamil Thalaivas started the latter half of its Pro Kabaddi league phase by taming Telugu Titans in the south Indian derby on Tuesday. The 27-23 scoreline at The Arena may was not enough for Thalaivas to improve its bottom-placed ranking in Zone B but the five points it earned certainly kept its hopes of making it to the Playoffs.
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Titans sprang a surprise by including three Iranians — Farhad Milaghardan, Mohsen Maghousoudlou, and Abohar Mighani — in its starting line-up. However, the rare instance of a team starting with three overseas players didn’t really work for the team as the Thalaivas maintained a consistent raid.
As it Happened| PKL 2018 Highlights: Thalaivas stuns Titans; Delhi conquers Gujarat on home soil
Captain Ajay Thakur’s super raid in the 16th minute, which saw him ousting three Titans defenders, turned out to be decisive as the Titans was all out with two minutes remaining for the break. As a result, Thalaivas enjoyed a handy 18-10 lead at half-time and was looking to run away with the game.
Titans, though, tightened its game in the latter half to ensure it earned a point for narrowing the margin down to four points.
Gujarat handed first home defeat in PKL history
To everyone's surprise, Dabang Delhi did the unthinkable by becoming the first team to defeat Gujarat Fortunegiants at home. With this, Dabang also snapped Gujarat's winning streak of nine matches.
Mehraj Sheykh led Dabang Delhi to a 29-26 victory with six raid points and one tackle point in the match. This also included the game changing super-raid, which throttled Delhi ahead of Gujarat after inflicting an all-out.
The match started with some solid defending from both the teams. The momentum kept shifting side from time to time. Known for its defensive prowess, Gujarat's Parvesh Bhainswal played an extremely crucial role at the back as he racked up six tackle points in the match. He was ably supported by Sachin—who scored seven raid points. However, Meraj Sheykh's inspirational effort saw Dabang Delhi home by a slender margin.
In the other contest of the night, Dabang Delhi K. C. defeated Gujarat Fortunegiants.
- Zone B: Tamil Thalaivas 27 (Ajay Thakur 8, Sukesh Hegde 5) bt Telugu Titans 23 (Rahul Chaudhari 8, Nilesh Salunke 4). Pts: Thalaivas 5, Titans 1.
- Zone A: Dabang Delhi K.C. 29 (Meraj Sheykh 7, Naveen Kumar 5) bt Gujarat Fortunegiants 26 (Sachin Tanwar 9, Parvesh Bhainswal 6).