Telugu Titans overcame every challenge thrown at them by Puneri Paltan to emerge winner by a mile in a Pro Kabaddi 2018 Inter-Zone Challenge at the NSCI stadium here on Tuesday.

Though the scoreline, 28-25, conveys a close contest, Titans dominated for a major chunk before slipping towards the end as the rivals caught up.

Titans functioned like a well-oiled unit, raiders Rahul Chaudhari (top-scorer with eight ponts), Nilesh Salunkhe (six) played to their strength and the defenders shifted to draw the rival into a trap before closing in. Krishna Madane (four) and Abozar Mighani (three) used their grip and skills to deadly effect.

The inter-zone clash pitted the second-placed side from Zone A, Paltan, against the fifth placed side from Zone B, Titans. The former banked on experience gained over 13 matches in season six, the latter were into its eighth game. Mohsen Maghsoudlou, one of three Iranians in Titans line-up, got trapped in a Super Tackle.

Paltan defenders were in rousing form, pulling off three Super Tackles in the first half, raiders Rahul Chaudhari and Nilesh Salunke were the victims. Titans proved to be efficient in both attacking and defensive roles, resulting in a clear six-point lead at 17-11 at the breather.

Sandeep Narwal, Akshay Jadhav, Monu strove hard and the team gained rhythm towards the close, as the Titans relaxed a bit and added a twist to the contest. The result lifted the victors to second position in Zone B, following five wins. Paltan remain second.

U Mumba thrashes UP Yoddha

In the second match of the day, U Mumba defeated UP Yoddha 40-24 in front of its home crowd after a dominant second half.

The first half saw both teams at their best. UP Yoddha stayed in the lead for most of the half though, until U Mumba made a late surge and went into the lead in the final minute. 15-14 the first half ended.

U Mumba carried that momentum into the second half, never looking back. UP Yoddha was given no breathing space as U Mumba's Siddharth Desai and Darshan Kadiyan raided consistently and Fazel Atrachali and Surinder Singh held fort in defense for the home team. Surinder picked up 7 points.