PKL: Titans stuns defending champion Pirates, Paltan pips Panthers

The Telugu Titans staged a comprehensive performance to defeat defending champion Patna Pirates 35-31 in the Pro Kabaddi League on Friday.

Patna Pirates star raider and captain Pardeep Narwal struggles to get past the Telugu Titans defence on Friday.   -  Special Arrangement

Captain Vishal Bharadwaj combined with ace defender Abozar Mighani to inspire Telugu Titans to a rousing 35-31 victory over Patna Pirates in an enthralling Zone B contest kin the Pro Kabaddi League here on Friday. The Indian-Iranian duo neutralised the reputed opposition raiders, executing their defensive moves to perfection under pressure.

Titans overcame a sluggish first half at the Balewadi Indoor Stadium to pull the rug from under the feet of the Pirates, whose stellar raiders – Pardeep Narwal and Manjeet (eight raid points) – were upstaged by the seasoned Rahul Chaudhari (seven raid points, including two bonus points).

The first half produced some edge-of-the-seat action and at the end of the half, the Pirates led 17-14.

As it happened

Manjeet struck the first blow with two points from a raid, twisting clear after a tackle at the left corner. Pardeep, snared in the first raid of the match, supported Manjeet’s act by sending out two remaining Titan players for the first All-Out, resulting in the lead surging to 12-6. Pirates faced the heat from then on, as Mohsen. M asserted himself in the rival half and defenders in his team regained early form to reduce the deficit to three points at the break

Titans’ line-up had three Iranians, Abozar, Farhad Milaghardan and Mohsen, with the latter claiming timely raid points. Pirates made no changes to its squad which delivered wins in its previous two games.

Meanwhile, the other match, a Zone-A encounter between Puneri Paltan and the Jaipur Pink Panthers saw the Paltan's impeccable defence flay the Panthers even as they struggled to survive in what seemed to be a tight competition on more than one occasions. 

However a total of 18 tackle points -- which included six super tackles -- notched up by Paltan eventually, proved to be too much of a load for Panthers to take off their shoulders, as they crumbled to a 29-25 loss. The outcome saw Paltan move to the top of the table while the Pink Panthers take up the lowermost slot.

The scores

Zone B--- Telugu Titans 35 (Rahul Chaudhari 7) bt Patna Pirates 31 (Manjeet 8). Pts: Titans 5, Pirates 1.

Zone A---Puneri Paltans 29 (Monu 7) bt Jaipur Pink Panthers 25 (Deepak Hooda 8)