Telugu Titans overwhelm Dabang Delhi
Mumbai: Raiding powerfully and tackling forcefully, Telugu Titans drubbed Dabang Delhi 36-27 in their opening game of the Star Sports Pro Kabaddi League at the NSCI Stadium here today.
Purposeful raiding by their trio of Rahul Chaudhari (5 points), Iranian Meraj Sheykh (8) and Deepak Hudda (7) helped the Titans hold sway right through the game in which they took a 18-8 half-time lead.
The super raids were backed up by some excellent defending by 18-year-old Sandeep, who caught the eye with his brilliant ankle holds, as well as Meraj who secured four points in tackling to take his overall points tally to 12 in the game.
The combination of all these helped the Hyderabad-based franchise come out trumps in emphatic fashion.
For the losers, Kashiling Adake was the most successful raider with eight points that included five bonus points for touching beyond the black line on the opposite side successfully.
Ravinder Pal Singh excelled in tackling with seven points but the big edge in raiding (21-16) and the two all outs suffered by Delhi, swung the game in Titans’ favour.
Taking an early 6-2 lead, the Titans never looked behind as they jumped to 9-4 with Chaudhari twice sending off two rival defenders with his touches while raiding.
Then Delhi were packed off for the first time in the game to enable Titans lead 16-6 and they maintained this edge till the end of the first half when the score read 18-8 in Titans’ favour.
The second half saw Titans continuing to hold sway and take a commanding 34-19 advantage with the last five minutes of the game remaining.
Delhi fought back to narrow the lead but the leeway was always beyond their reach.
In the second game of the day, last year’s runners-up and hosts U Mumba carved out an impressive 36-23 victory over Bengaluru Bulls for their second straight win of the tournament.
Having bettered last year’s champions Jaipur Pink Panthers by a solitary point in a thriller, the Mumbai team had things well in control against the Bulls who had got past Bengal Warriors in their lung-opener yesterday.
Star raiders Anup Kumar, the team captain, and Shabeer Bapu, who were below par against Jaipur, dominated play to help U Mumba take a handy 19-12 lead at half time in which Kumar’s contribution was six and Bapu’s five.
Both continued in the same vein after the change of ends with Anup ending with eight and Bapu 10. Anup also tackled well to provide good support to Mohit Chillar (4) and Surender Nada (4), in the first part of the second half, to help the Mumbai team maintain a big lead.
Rishank Devadiga came into his own in raids in the second half to keep U Mumba in control.
For the Bulls, Manjeet Chillar(4), Ajay Thakur (5) and Rajesh Mondal (4) raided well.
But the overall dominance in both offence (21-14) and defense (11-7) helped U Mumba come out trumps for the second match running.