Bengaluru Bulls and Telugu Titans were involved in an exciting 26-26 tie at the Harivansh Tana Bhagat Indoor Stadium in Ranchi on Saturday. Rohit Kumar and Rahul Chaudhari were the top-scorers for their teams with eight points each.
The raiders from both teams had a good start to the match and were responsible for the first few points of the encounter. Chaudhari got the Titans on the scoreboard, while Rohit and Ajay Kumar began in confident fashion for the Bulls.
Bengaluru managed to open up a three-point lead early on but a super tackle by Vishal Bhardwaj levelled the game at 5-5 in the seventh minute. Young Bhardwaj was it again moments later with another super tackle on Bengaluru skipper Rohit to give his side a 7-6 lead.
The Bulls though weren’t about to allow the Titans from having it all their way and regained the lead in the 16th minute when they enforced the first All-Out of the contest on Hyderabad to make it 13-10 in their favour on the back of some solid defending. Bengaluru went into the break with a 15-12 advantage but were struggling to contain Hyderabad’s Chaudhari, who had six points by the end of the first half.
The Bulls began to extend their lead towards the half-hour mark when a two-point raid by Ajay, followed by a successful tackle on Chaudhari in a do-or-die situation helped them move ahead 23-16. However, two super tackles by Hyderabad’s Nilesh Salunke first and then Bhardwaj yet again saw Bengaluru’s lead reduced to four points with a little over six minutes left to play.
The final five minutes of the match witnessed Bengaluru running down the clock when raiding to safeguard their slender lead. Hyderabad’s fifth super tackle of the match in the penultimate minute though set up a grandstand finish with just two points now separating the sides.
A successful raid by Chaudhari in the Titans’ next raid further reduced the deficit to just one-point heading into the last minute of the match. The match went down to the wire with the buzzer raid of the clash being a do-or-die one for the Bulls. Ajay was given the responsibility to see his team over the line but buckled under pressure as his attempt was unsuccessful, meaning the southern derby ended in a tie.
Check out our snapshots from this match here.