BENGALURU BULLS put up a grand performance, both in attack where Ajay Thakur stood out and the defence led by captain Manjeet Chhillar showed what team work is all about to floor Telugu Titans 35-21. At the Pataliputra Stadium here, Ajay Thakur ran away with the match with a super raid that put his side firmly in the saddle at 30-18 with three minutes for the buzzer. The win helps the Bulls to conclude the first half of Season 2 of Star Sports Pro Kabaddi with five wins for a tally of 25 points staying in third spot. Titans stay in second position with 26 points.
Earlier, it was a close tussle for supremacy in the first half where the winners ended with a 12-9 lead by escaping an all out. It was substitute Rakesh Narwal who brought about the turn around. The tall lad got a toe touch on an opponent to start the revival. This major lapse on the part of the Titans proved costly in hindsight.
The Bulls defence of veteran Dharmaraj Cheralathan and Gurpreet Singh, the latter replacing Joginder Narwal, manned the corners admirably. This pressurised the rival raiders and kept them at bay. That the Titans could get just five raid points with Rahul getting three was the most they achieved.
Yesterday’s hero Sukesh Hegde also committed two grave errors. He was out once stepping out of court and the next time failed to realise it was a do-or-die raid and had to leave. This hurt the Titans badly. The score now stands 3-0 in favour of the bulls in the league. They had beaten their rivals both times last year.
Bengaluru Bulls having been let off the hook came back to demolish the Titans. Rakesh Narwal kicked out Deepak Nivas Hudda in style to put him out. Rakesh next used his height to get a bonus to keep the momentum going.
As the game began to slip away from the Titans’ grasp, Sandeep stood out with some brilliant tackles and ankle holds – a bright light in the midst of the defeat for the Titans. With the Bengaluru Bulls defence holding strong, the Titans weren’t able to stage a comeback. The Titans can now take heart that their next game in the second half of Season 2 will be in their home leg in Hyderabad.