Bengaluru, 14 February: A collective performance from table-toppers Patna Pirates helped them beat Telugu Titans 38-30 and reached the semi-finals in the Vivo Pro Kabaddi League Season 8, here on Monday.
Raider Sachin scored a Super 10 (14 points) and defender Mohammadreza Shadloui secured a High 5 (5 tackle points) as Pirates once again showed why they are on top of the points table with a victory that helped them guarantee a Top-2 finish in the league stages.
Bottom-placed Telugu Titans were playing the match for pride having already been ruled out of the playoffs race. They once again showed glimpses of their potential but failed to control the match in the dying stages. The 8-point margin of the defeat meant they walked away with no points from the encounter.
Patna Pirates started on the front foot with their raiding duo of Guman Singh and Sachin finding errors in the Telugu defence. The Pirates rushed to an early lead and closed in on an ALL OUT. A Super Tackle on
Mohammadreza Shadloui (for not crossing the Baulk Line) delayed it but Pirates eventually removed all the Titans on the mat in the 7th minute to open a 7-point lead.
The Titans had no intention to be easy pushovers however and initiated an immediate fight back. Rajnish, with a heavily strapped knee, found mistakes in the Patna defence to slowly push his team closer to the Pirates. His 3-point Super Raid in the 17th minute gave the Titans an opportunity to inflict an ALL OUT on the table-toppers.
Adarsh T then clinched a 2-point raid to get the ALL OUT and open a 1-point lead. Patna Pirates soon got back into the lead through Sachin and brought in the experienced Monu Goyat as a substitute to sharpen their attack. The scores were 21-20 in favour of the Pirates at halftime.
Sachin clinched his Super 10 in the second minute after half time but the Titans continued to match the Pirates blow for blow. Their defence ensured there were no easy points up for Pirates’ raiders. Ankit Beniwal also started supporting Rajnish in the raids as they moved to a 1-point lead. The scores were 27-26 with 10 minutes remaining.
The depth of Pirates’ squad meant they kept finding answers to all the challenges being thrown at them by the Titans. In the 5 minutes that followed the first Time Out, Patna outscored the Titans by 3 points to once again take the lead. The momentum shift proved decisive as the Pirates inflicted an ALL OUT with 3 minutes remaining to open a 7-point lead. Rajnish got his Super 10 for the Titans but that mattered little as the Pirates went on to clinch an important win.