Pune, Nov. 5: Ajinkya Pawar pulled off a magnificent six-point raid just before the final whistle as the Tamil Thalaivas came up trumps 39-31 in a battle of the two southern teams at the Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex, Balewadi in Pune on Saturday.
Both sides played a neck and neck contest until Pawar's Super Raid, which turned the tide towards Thalaivas' favour.
In a slow burn first half, both teams played cautiously, raiders from both sides not risking much and finding scarce success whenever they did commit fully. It was a display of how committed the two defences were and was borne out by the stats too.
At the end of the half, both teams had an equal number of raid and tackle points, a rarity in the league.
Nonetheless, it was the Titans who actually kept the pressure up through the period, and reduced the Thalaivas to three players for the greater part of the final five minutes of the half. A SUPER TACKLE by Sagar on Abhishek Singh helped the Thalaivas avoid an all out at the first time. But with their lead raider, Narender, out for over three-fourth of the half it was always tough for them to take control of the game.
Finally, on the final raid before half-time, the Titans inflicted the first ALL OUT of the game, Ajinkya Pawar tackled by Mohsin Maghsoudlou, as the Titans went into the break leading 16-13.
The Titans kicked off the second half in a frenzy. A SUPER RAID by Siddharth Desai caught out Himanshu, Sahil Gulia and M. Abishek to further extend the lead. From there though, faced with adversity, once again the Thalaivas defence, led by Sagar came into its own.
Sagar's second SUPER TACKLE of the game caught Desai, and their resurgence began. A six-point lead was overturned within minutes as the Thalaivas inflicted their own ALL OUT to take the lead.
The momentum swung the Titans' way again and in the final two minutes the lead never extended two points, keeping everyone on edge. With ninety seconds to go and just one point between the two teams, Ajinkya Pawar's SUPER RAID caught six Titans players out to inflict a second ALL OUT and give them a nine-point lead that they held onto and eventually took the win.
Tamil Thalaivas vs Telugu Titans
vivo Perfect Player of the Match - Sagar (Tamil Thalaivas)
Dream 11 Gamechanger of the Match - Ajinkya Pawar (Tamil Thalaivas)
Moment of the Match - Ajinkya Pawar (Tamil Thalaivas)
PKL Matches on Sunday (Oct. 6):
Match 1: Bengaluru Bulls vs Gujarat Giants: 7:30pm IST
Match 2: Puneri Paltan vs Tamil Thalaivas: 8:30pm IST
Live on Star Sports Network
Live Streaming on Disney+ Hotstar
Source: Media Release