Telegu Titans staged a miraculous late comeback but eventually failed to recover from their poor start to lose 37-42 against Puneri Paltan in a second inter-zone challenge week tie of the Pro Kabaddi League Season 5 at the Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose Indoor Stadium here on Thursday.
The Titans were down in the dumps in the first half, trailing 0-18, but rode Rahul Chaudhuri’s superlative raiding display late on in the second essay to water down the difference rapidly from 15 points to eventually lose by five points.
Chaudhuri got nine points from 19 raids while Pune’s Deepak Hooda bagged nine raid points from 20 attempts.
Courtesy the result, Pune rose to the fourth spot from fifth with 31 points from eight matches in Zone A while Titans also moved a rung from fifth to fourth, having 24 points from 13 outings.
The Titans came into the match needing to string together a series of wins. An out-of-form Chaudhari did not do their cause any good and they hoped he would come good in this tie.
But the yellow shirts got off to the worst possible start, succumbing to two all outs in the first 10 minutes.
The scoreboard read 0-18 as it took them 11 minutes to open their account.
Pune, on the other hand, made the most of their clutch of all-rounders in the side to pull away with elan.
However, the Hyderabad-based Titans made amends for their poor start with an all out in the 15th minute to bridge the gap to 10-23 from 7-22.
At halftime, Pune led by 26-12.
There was no respite for the Titans in the second period as the margin seemed too big for them to stage a comeback. Pune all but sealed a victory with 12 minutes to go until the final whistle with a third all out on their rivals. At 37-18, only a miracle could save the Titans.
Chaudhuri tried hard towards the end with a super raid taking out three Pune players and closing the margin to 27-39 from 24-39.
The Titans effected an all out soon after to make the score 30-40 and with the clock showing three minutes to go, they looked to be pulling off an heist.