Defending champions Bengal Warriors defeated Telugu Titans 28-27 in the Pro Kabaddi League Season 8 at The Sheraton Grand, Whitefield, here on Monday.
The low-scoring affair saw both teams exchanging leads with defences on top. Bengal captain Maninder Singh scored a Super 10 but it was the Warriors’ defenders who showed the mental composure to clinch a last-minute victory.
Telugu Titans will be left wondering what they need to secure a win in Season 8. Their raider Rajnish once again clinched a Super 10 (11 points) but an all-out in the dying minutes cost them dearly.
The first half saw both teams opt for a cautious approach. Galla Raju found a place in the Telugu starting seven for Rohit Kumar but the Titans were hoping that the raiding duo of Rajnish and Ankit Beniwal would do the bulk of the scoring. Unfortunately for them, Bengal’s left corner Ran Singh was in fantastic form, picking up three tackle points in the first half.
The Bengal raiders, however, struggled to work their magic against the Titans. Maninder Singh picked just three points while Sukesh Hegde contributed four bonus points which allowed the Telugu team to stay in touching distance. The first half ended 14-13 with Bengal in the lead.
The Titans’ own defence was having a good match with Sandeep Kandola marshalling them from the left corner. He ensured Bengal raiders stayed quiet in the opening minutes after the restart. Rajnish’s three-point Super Raid in the 5th minute gave Titans a 4-point lead and they managed to sustain the points gap till the first Time Out.
Maninder Singh and Bengal’s defenders made it just a 1-point game with minutes remaining in the match as Rajnish struggled in his raids. Ran Singh pounced on Rajnish with two minutes to go to get Bengal a crucial all-out and a narrow lead. The Warriors then sensibly managed the remaining time to clinch a one-point win.