Another night, another one to despair for Rahul Chaudhari and Telugu Titans. Their fourth successive loss at home came at the hands of Bengal Warriors. The Titans are having a curiously horrendous start to the season. The word ‘curiously’ needs to be used because, a look at the league stats tells you quite a different story. Chaudhari leads the Raid points charts by quite a margin while Vishal Bharadwaj leads the standings for tackle points. Bharadwaj is also fourth in the standings for total points won.
Those figures are because of two factors. The first is that, save for the one day break that was there on Monday, Titans have been playing continuously since the start of the league. They have played the most number of matches. Secondly, Chaudhari and Bharadwaj, the former more so, have been the only ones driving them forward.
On Wednesday, though, ‘Poster Boy’ had some help. Vikas had scored six raid points while Chaudhari and Nilesh Salunke scored five. But, that adeptness in raiding was matched by Bengal Warriors. Maninder Singh scored 11 points while Korea’s Jan Kun Lee took eight. Kolkata also had a strong defensive setup led by captain Surjeet Singh, Ran Singh and Maninder Singh.
The Titans dominated the first few minutes of the match with Chaudhari picking up three points in the first five. Telugu Titans were leading 6-4 at that point but Maninder turned the tables on them with a Super Raid. This was followed by a two-point raid and suddenly, Kolkata were leading 6-9. Maninder was unstoppable in the first half and inflicted Telugu Titans’ first all out of the match in the 11th minute. Lee also helped in the raiding effort and the Titans came out of the first half battered and bruised. The score was 19-14 in favour of the Bengal Warriors.
Bengal Warriors were more patient in the second half. Maninder Singh had some difficulty in scoring points with the giant screen in front of him constantly flashing that he is one point away from a Super-10. In that time period, Bengal shored up their tackle points while Lee gave them their raid points. The Super-10 did finally come for Maninder. The Titans tried to get back in the game but the points were coming too slowly for them. In the last couple of minutes, the Warriors stepped up and took a few crucial point, putting the game well out of the Titans’ reach. This was their fourth successive defeat at home. These defeats are certainly going to bite in the latter stages of the season with the other teams in their Zone yet to play more than one match.