It was a dream debut for Rahul Chaudhari in Tamil Thalaivas colours, as the ‘Showman’ scored a Super 10 for his new side and helped them get their campaign off to a perfect start with an emphatic 39-26 over Telugu Titans in the first Southern Derby of VIVO Pro Kabaddi Season 7 at the Gachibowli Indoor Stadium in Hyderabad on Sunday. Veteran all-rounder Manjeet Chhillar, too, enjoyed a stellar night scoring six tackle points in just seven tackle attempts.
Chaudhari and ‘Iceman’ Ajay Thakur were off the mark quick, scoring a points in each of their first raids, and veteran Shabeer Bappu, too, got his first point of the campaign in his second raid attempt, as the Tamil Thalaivas raced to a 5-3 lead early in the contest. The home team responded by scoring three straight points but a Super Tackle by Manjeet followed by a two-point raid by Bappu turned the tide back in Tamil Thalaivas’ favour.
Chaudhari picked off two of the three remaining men on the mat with a two-point raid and in the subsequent raid, Tamil Thalaivas Right Corner Mohit Chhillar scored his first tackle point of the season and inflicted the game’s first All-Out on Telugu Titans. Post the All-Out, ‘Baahubali’ Siddharth Desai scored a raid point each on either side of a Super Raid by Thakur and Mohit Chhillar finished the half with another successful tackle – this time on on raider Kamal Singh - as the teams headed to the half-time break with the visitors leading 20-10.
The first eight minutes of the second half were tightly contested, with both teams scoring five points apiece. Tamil Thalaivas’ points came courtesy of two tackle points from Mohit Chhillar, another from Ajeet and a raid point each from Chaudhari and substitute V Ajith Kumar. For the home side, it was Vishal Bhardwaj, Siddharth Desai and Abozar Mohajermighani with a tackle point each and a raid point each from Farhad Milaghardan and Rajnish. A successful raid from Desai and a tackle point from Kamal Singh helped Telugu Titans cut the deficit down to eight, but three straight tackle points from Manjeet restored the visitors’ 11-point lead in the contest.
A run of four straight successful raids by Chaudhari helped the ‘Showman’ complete his first Super 10 as a Tamil Thalaivas player and reduced Telugu Titans down to a solitary man on the mat. Left Corner Ran Singh tackled Rajnish to inflict the game’s second All-Out and give the visitors a 36-21 lead. Telugu Titans finished the night strong with a 5-3 run, but it was the Tamil Thalaivas who emerged victorious in their first game of the campaign.
Tamil Thalaivas –
Best Raider – Rahul Chaudhari (10 Raid Points)
Best Defender – Manjeet Chhillar (6 Tackle Points)
Telugu Titans –
Best Raider – Siddharth Desai (5 Raid Points)
Best Defender – Kamal Singh (2 Tackle Points)