PKL 2019: Siddharth helps Titans trump Steelers, first home points for Thalaivas with Pune draw

Siddharth Desai and Rahul Chaudhari starred for their respective teams as an exciting evening of kabaddi saw Telugu Titans register its second win this season and Tamil Thalaivas score its first point at home

With 18 points, Siddharth Desai took Telugu Titans to its second win of the season.   -  ProKabaddi League

Tamil Thalaivas was trailing by three points with as many minutes remaining on the clock. The side's talisman, Ajay Thakur, took up the challenge and went in for the raid.

The captain got past three men and darted to the mid-line. His hand hovered above the line for a brief second, but he was yanked away at the knick of time. That was how agonisingly close Tamil Thalaivas came to winning on Sunday.

 

In what was a cliffhanger, Tamil Thalaivas scripted a phenomenal comeback to earn a 31-31 draw with Puneri Paltan in their Pro Kabaddi League (PKL 2019) encounter at the Jawaharlal Nehru Indoor Stadium on Sunday.

Puneri Paltan had a narrow 15-13 lead at the end of the first half, but Rahul Chaudhari restored the parity soon after the restart. Chaudhari's raid left Paltan with one man on the mat and Thalaivas' Ran Singh floored Sushant Sail to claim the all-out and put his side in the lead. Despite having the advantage, Thalaivas could not seize control and the sides remained within a point of each other.

A fine Pankaj Mohite raid saw Puneri sneak to a 28-25 lead with three minutes to go, and what followed was a masterclass from Thalaivas' Ajith Kumar.

Local boy Ajith sent the crowd into raptures with a mind-blowing four-point raid as he razed his way past the trio of Manjeet, Hadi Tajik, and Nitin Tomar to bring his side back on level terms. The raid rescued his side from a second successive loss and earned it three crucial points.

READ| PKL 2019: Titans trounces Steelers; Thalaivas and Pune settle for a nail-biting draw- As it happened

- Siddharth powers Titans to victory -

Coming into the season, there were the few odd doubts if Siddharth Desai would be able to weave his magic on the mat like he did last time. He endured an uncharacteristically slow start to the tournament, but Siddharth found his Midas touch as he scored a mammoth 18 points to lead Telugu Titans to a 40-29 win over Haryana Steelers.

Telugu Titans, which picked up its second win of the season, looked mighty impressive from the start and hardly gave the Steelers any breathing space.

The defence led by Abozar Mighani and Vishal Bharadwaj clamped down the raiders, while the Desai brothers – Siddharth and Suraj – found points with ease.

There was perfect harmony between raiding and defence. Siddharth reduced the Steelers to one man while Abozar followed it with a fine tackle on Naveen to bag an all-out and give the side a huge 18-10 lead.

Siddharth completed his Super 10 in the second half and went on to inflict a second all-out on Steelers. Up against the veteran Dharmaraj Cheralathan and Naveen, he used his burly physique to wriggle his way out of the former's ankle hold to power his side to a 15-point lead.

Vikash Kandola was the Steelers' best man on the mat and bagged eight points and brought up his career's 600th PKL raid point, but it went in vain as Telugu Titans cruised to a dominating win.