Chennai: Tamil Thalaivas and Puneri Paltan played out a thrilling tie at the Pro Kabaddi League, season 7, held at Jawaharlal Nehru Indoor Stadium, here, Saturday.
The home side, coming after a defeat in their last game, made few changes to its team by giving young Ajeet Kumar, a first start in the tournament in the place of Shabeer Bappu. They had a good start and took an early lead. However, it did not last long as Puneri Paltan kept challenging the men-in-blue and inflicted the first all-out. But with Rahul Chaudhari picking up points, the gap once again reduced to two points, with Pune leading the score.
At the end of the first half, the scores read 13-15, in favour of Pune. Tamil Thalaivas then fared well in the second half with Rahul, Ajay Thakur and Tamilnadu lad Ajeet Kumar working in tandem to rake up raid points with their rides. It became a very tight contest with the scores remaining equal. When it looked like the match was heading to a tie, Tamil Thalaivas faced a collapse yet again.
Pankaj Mohote, the Pune raider earned points to help Puneri Paltan lead by two points. With only three minutes remaining, for Tamil Thalaivas, V Ajith Kumar, who was the last-man-standing, entered for the raid and did the star turn to get four points on the board with the super raid that saw three men getting out, along with a bonus point and this brought the scores 28 – 28.
With less than two minutes left, the teams could add only one more point and the game came to the conclusion with the teams sharing the spoils. V Ajit Kumar was the star of the day as it was only because of his super raid, that Tamil Thalaivas was able to draw the match.
Speaking after the match coach Edacheri Bhaskaran said, “I am happy with the result, We were few points behind and had it not been for the super raid, we would have lost the match.” Ajit said he was confident of getting the point during that crucial face. “I was very happy about getting the team to a tie. I was confident of getting points during the raid and I discussed with the coach and executed it well,” he concluded.
In another match riding on Siddharth Desai’s good effort, Telugu Titans defeated Haryana Steelers 40-29. Siddharth
Desai, who was out of form early this season, put away all the doubts raised at him as he scored 18 points in the match.
Telugu Titans, which picked up its second win of the season, looked mighty impressive from the start and hardly gave the
Steelers any breathing space.
Vikash Kandola was the Steelers’ best man on the mat and bagged eight points, but it went in vain as Telugu Titans cruised to a dominating win.