Telugu Titans beat Haryana Steelers 40-29

Chennai: Siddharth Desai was the star for Telugu Titans as he proved ‘form is temporary, and class is permanent’ with a Super 10 to help his team secure a 40-29 win against Haryana Steelers in a crucial VIVO Pro Kabaddi League encounter at Chennai’s Jawaharlal Nehru Indoor Stadium on Sunday.

Siddharth’s 18 points, including his second Super 10 of the season, was too much to contain for the Haryana Steelers who’s three-match winning run came to a halt in their first match of the Chennai-leg.

Telugu Titans went into the match with just one win in eight matches, but the lack of confidence was certainly not evident from the outset as the Desai brothers of Siddharth and Suraj took the game to the Steelers. In-form Vikash Kandola, on the back of a hat-trick of Super 10s, was in no mood to let the Titans run away with the match though as he kept pace with the South Indian team. The most crucial point of the first half came with 8 minutes remaining when Siddarth Desai combined well with his team to tackle Vikash Kandola.

Vishal Bhardwaj, playing his 50th match in PKL, brought about the first all-out in the match, assisting Abozar Mighani to tackle Naveen with four minutes remaining to half time. Steelers’ recent resurgence in form had been largely due to Vikash Kandola’s ability to perform in Do-or-Die (team success ratio of 60%) and Super-Tackle situations (personal SR of 88%), but the Telugu Titans had a well-prepared plan for the quick raider, tackling him out once more before the half ended at 21-13 in favour of the Titans.

The second half ended up just like the first, with Telugu’s defence not allowing Vikash Kandola to settle into the game. They inflicted the second all-out on Haryana with 11 minutes remaining till the end with Siddharth Desai leading the Telugu attack. Kandola’s super raid with two minutes left in the clock led to a near-collapse for the Titans but the side held on to their nerves to escape an all-out and clinch the match. Siddharth’s return to form will be the highlight for the Titans who now look a well-balanced unit.

On their win, Siddharth ‘Baahubali’ Desai said during the post-match press conference s, “Telugu Titans as a team is happy to emerge as winner today. We are looking forward to take this confidence and spirit in all our future matches.”

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