A stupendous second-half defensive display helped Telugu Titans win their first match at home as they recorded a 36-26 win over Jaipur Pink Panthers at the Rajiv Gandhi Indoor Stadium in Vizag on Saturday. While Deepak Niwas Hooda and Sandeep Dhull managed to get a Super 10 and High 5 respectively for Jaipur Pink Panthers, they weren’t able to push their team over the line against a Telugu Titans side that played with extreme resolve.
Jaipur Pink Panthers started the game on a sprightly note as they raced to a 4-2 lead inspired by Hooda who got them their first two points of the night. Nilesh Salunke, however, wrestled the advantage back for the home team as he put in a Super Raid in the 5th minute with touches on Bajirao Hodage, Young Chang Ko and Mohit Chhillar to go with a bonus.
Check out the photos from the match here.
With the two teams going toe-to-toe, substitute Gangadhari Mallesh inflicted the game’s first Super Tackle in the 13th minute with a double Thigh Hold on Rahul Chaudhari to help Jaipur Pink Panthers regain the lead. Their lead didn’t last for long, though, as Telugu Titans levelled the scores in the 17th minute with their first tackle point of the game as Abozar Mohajermighani managed a double Ankle Hold on Ajinkya Pawar.
Farhad Milaghardan then reduced Jaipur Pink Panthers to a solitary player on the mat as he got a touch on Mohit Chhillar before Vishal Bhardwaj inflicted the first All-Out of the game in the 18th minute with an Ankle Hold on Mallesh. The scores read 16-13 in favour of Telugu Titans at this point and they managed another point before the break to lead by four points heading into the interval.
The defensive units of both teams began the second half strongly as they combined to score the first four points of the half before Chaudhari scored the first raid point in the 5th minute with a touch on Dhull as Telugu Titans increased their advantage to seven points.
The teams then began to slow down the pace of the game by playing on the Do-or-Die raids as Telugu Titans looked to hold on to their advantage and not allow Jaipur Pink Panthers a way back into the contest.
A touch by Salunke on Chhillar put Jaipur Pink Panthers on the verge of a second All-Out before Anil Kumar got a Thigh Hold on Pawar in the 16th minute to inflict a second All-Out on Jaipur Pink Panthers. By this point, Telugu Titans had increased their lead to eleven points.
Visit the matchcentre to relive the contest here.
Even with a big deficit before them, Jaipur Pink Panthers did not drop their guard till the end. Dhull got his High 5 in the 20th minute with an Ankle Hold on Salunke before Hooda got his sixth successive Super 10 with a touch on Milaghardan. However, the defensive work done by Telugu Titans earlier in the match proved to be enough as the home side secured a 10-point win at fulltime.
Best Raider: Nilesh Salunke (8 raid points)
Best Defender: Anil Kumar (4 tackle points)
Jaipur Pink Panthers
Best Raider: Deepak Niwas Hooda (10 raid points)
Best Defender: Sandeep Dhull (5 tackle points)