Telugu Titans fired on all cylinders as they vanquished the mighty Haryana Steelers at the Motilal Nehru School of Sports in Sonepat on Sunday with an 18-emphatic 37-19 win. Captain and star raider Rahul Chaudhari’s 10 points and defender Vishal Bhardwaj’s 6 points nullified both the defence and attack combinations of the home team.
Deepak Kumar Dahiya started the proceedings but Telugu Titans drew first blood through Chaudhari. The Titans initially picked up quick points but the Steelers ensured they were never far behind. Both the teams tried to slow down the pace of the match by getting aggressive only during do-or-die raids.
Known for their defence, Haryana however, failed to capitalise on that front making unnecessary tackles and losing their balance to gift the Titans easy points. The Titans’ strategy to keep the Steelers’ in-form raider Prashanth Kumar Rai out also worked for them as he was hardly seen on the mat in the first 20 minutes.
The low-scoring half hardly saw any magic moments and Chaudhari drew it to a close with a fantastic cartwheel escape in the dying seconds as the Titans entered the breather leading 12-8.
The Steelers started the second half with intent as they initiated a super tackle on Mohsen Maghsoudlou to start the proceedings. However, Telugu Titans had a completely different game plan which they executed to a tee to ensure their lead remained intact.
In the 25th minute, Nilesh Salunke took out the last two opponents as the Titans handed the Steelers their first All-Out of the match to lead 18-11. A minute later, the Titans faced a scare when Bhardwaj seemed in intense pain holding his ankle and had to be substituted. However, he entered within minutes with renewed energy to throttle the Steelers attack and soon picked up a High 5.
In the 35th minute, Haryana were handed their second All-Out of the match with the Titans taking an unassailable 16-point lead as the scoreline read 32-16. With a couple of minutes remaining on the clock and no chance of a comeback, Haryana completely lost their steam. With Wazir Singh’s successful one-point raid, the curtains came down at Sonepat as Telugu Titans routed the home team 37-19.
Check out our snapshots from this match here.