Visakhapatnam, Dec 9 (IANS) In yet another nail-biting contest, Telugu Titans held their nerves to pip Haryana Steelers 35-31 at the jam-packed Rajiv Gandhi Indoor Stadium here on Sunday night.
Nilesh Salunke’s last-minute super raid gave Titans a much-needed victory. Salunke ended up with 7 points but it was Rahul Chaudhari who top-scored for Titans with 12 points.
Titans’ defence laid the foundations for their win as they forced as many as six super tackles.
Monu Goyat rallied Haryana Steelers remarkably in the second-half and earned 12 points but they just fell short.
Nilesh and Rahul got a raid point each to give Telugu Titans 3-1 lead after two minutes.
Haryana Steelers scored three straight points to lead 4-3 after four minutes. Monu scored his second point of the match to give Haryana Steelers 7-5 lead in the sixth minute.
Telugu Titans forced two super tackles in two minutes to lead 11-8 after 10 minutes. The super tackles galvanised Haryana as they scored seven straight points to lead 14-8.
Things got better for Telugu Titans as they inflicted an all-out in the 15th minute to lead 18-9. At the end of the first-half, Telugu Titans led 20-13.
The second-half started brightly for Haryana Steelers as Monu scored three points in two minutes to reduce the deficit to 4 points. On two occasions, Haryana Steelers came close to inflicting an all-out but Telugu Titans’ resolute defence denied them.
Two more super tackles followed for the Titans as they led 29-21 after 25 minutes.
With less than five minutes to go Haryana, gave themselves a glimmer of hope as they inflicted an all-out to trail 25-29. Two more raid points for Monu Goyat meant that Steelers were trailing by just one point after 37 minutes.
Steelers sent Rahul back to the bench but he picked up a bonus as the scores were level at 30-30. Vishal forced a super tackle in the 40th minute to earn two more points for Titans.
Nilesh made a super raid in the dying seconds of the match to lead Titans to 35-31 win.