Telugu Titans stuns Pirates, books semifinal berth

Telugu Titans finished its league campaign here on Tuesday with a comprehensive 46-25 victory against table topper and defending champion Patna Pirates to finish second on the table.

Captain Rahul Chaudhari led Telugu Titans from the front, scoring 13 points and with effective support from substitute Athul MS, managed to outwit the opposition.   -  K.V.S. Giri

Telugu Titans finished its league campaign here on Tuesday with a comprehensive 46-25 victory against table topper and defending champion Patna Pirates to finish second on the table and confirm its place in the semifinals. Patna, though, remained on top with 52 points, two more than Titans.

Captain Rahul Chaudhari led Titans from the front, scoring 13 points and with effective support from substitute Athul MS, managed to outwit the opposition. With the teams level till the 13th minute, Titans pulled ahead when Athul MS sent out two of the Patna players and reduce them to just two on the mat. Chaudhuri stuck again and Iranian Hadi Oshtorak was tackled successfully for Patna's first all out.

The defending champion did not recover from that setback and kept falling back and at half time, Patna was ten points in arrear. That gap kept widening as Patna's defence was completely exposed by Athul and Chaudhuri. Between them, the two raiders stepped out 27 times and were tackled only twice. On the other hand, Patna should thank its Iranian duo of Abolfazel Maghsodlo and Fazel Atrachali for saving the team the blushes.

The duo scored 17 of the 25 team points and played lone hands in attack and defence respectively. Pardeep Narwal, Patna's talismanic raider, was off colour and his inability to score was reflected directly in his team's struggles.

In the day's other match, host Dabang Delhi let the game slip away towards the end for the second time in as many days, losing 34-39 to Puneri Paltan despite taking lead repeatedly. Deepak Niwas Hooda was the man who made the difference, scring an incredible 17 points for the winner. The result meant Delhi remains seventh on the table with 28 points while Pune jumps to fourth spot and remains in contention for a semifinal spot.

The results: Telugu Titans 46 (Rahul Chaudhuri 13, Athul MS 7, Sandeep Narwal 6) bt Patna Pirates 25 (Abolfazel Maghdoslo 9, Fazel Atrachali 8); Dabang Delhi 34 (Kashiling Adake 10, Umesh Kumar 5, Prashant Kumar Rai 5) lost to Puneri Paltan 39 (Deepak Niwas Hooda 17).



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