Siddharth Desai’s 15 points for the Telugu Titans could not help his side to clinch a win over their opponents.
An all-rounder performance from Aslam Inamdar (8 points) helped Puneri Paltan beat Telugu Titans 34-33 in the second vivo Pro Kabaddi League Season 8 match of Christmas day at The Sheraton Grand, Whitefield Bengaluru. Siddharth Desai scored 15 points for the Telugu Titans but had no support from fellow raiders including captain Rohit Kumar as Pune secured a last-second victory.
The match started with all the eyes on top raiders Rahul Chaudhari and Siddharth Desai. The “showman” Rahul struggled again to make an impression with his early raids for Pune while Siddharth Desai showed why he is considered the “Baahubali” with powerful moves including massive hand-touches. But his teammate and captain Rohit Kumar seemed to be moving gingerly and struggled to have an effect on the match for the Titans.
Aslam Inamdar seemed to be the brightest hope for Puneri Paltan who did not have Nitin Tomar in the line-up. Telugu Titans got lucky as 4 Pune defenders jumped into the lobby to tackle Siddharth Desai who had already gone out of bounds. The momentum shift handed them in the next move and Siddharth Desai secured a 3-point Super Raid in the last minute to end the half 20-14 in Titans’ favour.
Pune regrouped in the second half and capitalised on Titans’ lack of a strong raider to assist Siddharth Desai. Mohit Goyat’s brilliant 3-point raid fetched the Pune team an ALL OUT and a slender 2-point lead in the 7th minute of the half. But Siddharth Desai then put it a 3-point Super Raid to clinch his Super 10 and level the scores at 25-25 with 10 minutes remaining. Interestingly Rahul Chaudhari wasn’t part of the Pune seven in the second half after being benched while defender Abinesh Nadarajan raced to his High 5 with some clean tackling.
Siddharth Desai ensured Titans got their ALL OUT with three minutes left on the clock to get a 2-point lead. But Aslam Inamdar, with a tackle and multiple quick raids ensured the momentum shifted back to Pune. The last raid blunder by Rakesh Gowda where he miscalculated a Bonus Point handed Pune a 1-point victory – their first of the season.
Haryana Steelers go down Jaipur Pink Panthers
Haryana Steelers played their hearts out, but they went down 38-40 against Jaipur Pink Panthers in Pro Kabaddi League Season 8. Captain Vikash Kandola was Haryana’s best player with 14 raid points in the match.
The Steelers carried out a fantastic tackle in the fourth minute and took a two-point lead at 4-2. Kandola pulled off a brilliant raid moments later and helped the Steelers take a four-point lead at 7-3. Haryana carried out an all-out in the next minute and extended their lead by 6 points. The Steelers pulled off a brilliant Super Tackle in the 15th minute and led at 17-12. The Jaipur Pink Panthers carried out an All Out in the last few minutes, however, the Steelers held on to their lead at 22-21 at the end of the first half.
Both sides were neck-and-neck in the first four minutes of the second half as Haryana and Jaipur were locked at 26-26. The Panthers carried out an all-out in the 30th minute and led at 33-27. The Steelers tried to fight back with a brilliant tackle and a couple of raids, however, the Jaipur side kept forging forward. Rohit Gulia pulled off a fantastic Super Raid in the last few minutes of the match and reduced Jaipur’s lead, however, the Panthers held on to their lead and closed out the match at 40-38.