PKL 10: Patna Pirates fight back to beat Telugu Titans, qualify for playoffs
Kolkata, Feb 13 (IANS) Patna Pirates showcased a stunning come-from-behind win to become the fifth team to qualify for the playoffs stage of Season 10 of the Pro Kabaddi League (PKL) as they clinched a 38-36 victory over Telugu Titans in their clash at the Netaji Indoor Stadium here on Tuesday.
Manjeet starred for Patna Pirates with eight points, while Telugu Titans skipper Pawan Sehrawat's superb 16-point show went in vain.
Patna Pirates were the in-form team coming into the game with a seven-game unbeaten streak, but they were handed a rude jolt by a resurgent Telugu Titans. Pawan began the onslaught as he produced two back-to-back multi-point raids and some woeful defending from the Patna Pirates saw Telugu Titans inflict an All-Out within four minutes.
Telugu Titans had a shock 10-3 lead, which further increased as Patna Pirates’ defence simply failed to click. Pawan ran circles around the men in green and brought up his Super 10 in the 15th minute, at which point the scorecard read 20-12 in Telugu Titans’ favour. Patna Pirates upped the ante in the final five minutes of the half as Sandeep Kumar produced a couple of key raids and a strong tackle from Krishan Dhull on Pawan saw the Telugu Titans reduced to just 2 men.
Patna Pirates’ captain Sachin then eased past the defensive duo of Milad Jabbari and Parvesh Bhainswal to bag the ALL OUT and reduce his side’s deficit to just 2 points at 22-20. Patna Pirates took the lead for the first time in the game in the 23rd minute and Sachin soon reduced the opposition to just one defender, but Omkar Patil came off the bench to snatch a brilliant Super Raid and save Telugu Titans from the clutches of an All-Out. A Super Tackle from Jabbari put his team up again as they led 28-27 with 10 minutes to go.
The three-time champions brought Manjeet off the bench and he made the difference in the closing stages of the match with a Super Tackle and a series of sharp raids, which enabled his side to bag a much-needed All-Out in the 36th minute. Patna Pirates led by 5 at 36-31 and held on to their lead to extend their unbeaten run to 8 games. More importantly, they also sealed their spot in the playoffs for the seventh time.