The penultimate game of the Pune leg sees Telugu Titans battle Patna Pirates at the Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex, Mahalunge in Balewadi. Both teams currently find themselves at a considerable distance from the top six, especially Telugu Titans, and will consider this a must-win game to muster their hopes of a playoff spot.
Match 98: Telugu Titans vs. Patna Pirates
Head-to-head: Telugu Titans 6 – 6 Patna Pirates
Win Rate: 26.67%
Best Raider: Siddharth Desai
Best Defender: Vishal Bhardwaj
After a strong run of four wins and a tie in six matches, Telugu Titans yet again slumped to three straight losses and find themselves 18 points adrift of the top six. They face an uphill battle in their quest to make it to the playoffs but victories in their remaining seven matches and favourable results elsewhere could see them squeak into the top six at the end of the league stage. The key to their fortunes will yet again be ‘Baahubali’ Siddharth Desai who has been in sensational form, scoring 54 raid points in his last five matches. In defence, Left Corner Vishal Bhardwaj has led the way for his side with 54 tackle points in 15 matches, but hasn’t received much support from elsewhere. Skipper Abozar Mohajermighani has scored just 30 tackle points so far this season and Telugu Titans need their captain to step over in the final seven matches of the season.
Win Rate: 37.50%
Best Raider: Pardeep Narwal
Best Defender: Neeraj Kumar
After a dismal run of six successive losses, Patna Pirates have won three on the trot and have given themselves a chance to finish in the top six at the end of the league stage. ‘Record-Breaker’ Pardeep Narwal has been in astounding form and has scored a staggering 58 raid points in Patna Pirates’ past three matches. Limiting the two-time MVP has proven to be an impossible task for opposition defences and if he gets going against Telugu Titans, their defence will have their work cut out. Speaking of defence, a key player for Patna Pirates in that department has been Neeraj Kumar, who leads the team in tackle points with 46. He was particularly impressive against Puneri Paltan and tied a vivo Pro Kabaddi record with 11 tackle points on the night. With the offence firing and the defence, too, finding its feet, Patna Pirates will be the favourites to make it four wins on the trot.