Telugu Titans beat Bengaluru Bulls for the first time in the history of the Star Sports Pro Kabaddi by a 35-26 margin on an eventful day which saw tempers run high resulting in Amit Rathi being red-carded for kicking rival Rahul Chaudhari and Telugu Titans assistant coach Srinivasan also suffering the same fate for showing dissent.
Srinivasan’s eviction didn’t hurt the Telugu Titans but Amit’s cost the home team very dear. Playing with a man less for almost close to 25 minutes put a strain on the rest. It was always an uphill task for the Bengaluru Bulls despite the heroics of Pawan Kumar and Captain Surjeet Narwal.
Both of them were forewarned with a yellow card. Amit was sent to the sin-bin as early as the second minute of play. These extreme penalties were the first ever in the history of the competition.
It remains to be seen whether the Tournament Director will enhance the punishment after reviewing the footage and the referee’s report. Kabaddi is a body contact sport like rugby and football and there are instances where players tend to lose their cool and react instantly in the heat of the moment.
With the match officials coming down heavily on such acts all the teams, coaches and managers will definitely think twice before committing any indiscretion on the field and the bench.
Bengaluru Bulls enjoyed a 5-3 advantage initially despite Amit Rathi being confined to the sin-bin for a couple of minutes with a yellow card. Rahul was out early but he came back to inflict damage with four raid points that hastened the all-out for a tally of 14-7 in the 16th minute of play. The situation wasn’t that grim till then. But Amit reacted in a moment of sheer gross indiscretion after Rahul tried to tackle him unsuccessfully.
With the numbers on court stacked against them Bengaluru Bulls fought gamely to narrow the deficit to 14-20. But it was always an uphill task. As Rahul got into his stride, he kept on garnering points consistently. The Telugu Titans defence led by Dharmaraj Cheralathan and supported by Meraj Sheykh was superb and Rahul Kumar too getting into the catching act the match slipped out of the hosts grasp.
There were a few moments of brilliance from young substitutes Pawan Kumar, Vinoth Kumar towards the end. They caused a few ripples which weren’t enough though. Surjeet also tried his level best but super tackles by Meraj and of all people Rahul Chaudhari helped Telugu Titans create history by beating Bengaluru Bulls for the first a la Patna Pirates who bettered U Mumba earlier.
Telugu Titans maintain their place at the top with 16 points in five matches and Patna Pirates follow them with 15 in three matches.