Raider Sachin scored a Super 10 (14 points) and defender Mohammadreza Shadloui secured a High 5 (5 tackle points) as Patna once again showed why they are on top of the points table with a victory that helped them guarantee a top-2 finish in the league stage.
Bottom-placed Telugu Titans were playing the match for pride having already been ruled out of the playoffs race. They once again showed glimpses of their potential but failed to control the match in the dying stages.
The eight-point margin of the defeat meant they walked away with no points from the encounter.
Patna Pirates started on the front foot with their raiding duo of Guman Singh and Sachin finding errors in the Telugu defence. The Pirates rushed to an early lead and closed in on an ‘All Out’.
A Super Tackle on Mohammadreza Shadloui (for not crossing the Baulk Line) delayed it but Patna eventually removed all the Titans on the mat in the seventh minute to open a seven-point lead.
The Titans had no intention to be easy pushovers however and initiated an immediate fight back. Rajnish, with a heavily strapped knee, found mistakes in the Patna defence to slowly push his team closer to the Pirates.
His three-point Super Raid in the 17th minute gave the Titans an opportunity to inflict an ‘All out’ on the table-toppers.
Adarsh T then clinched a two-point raid to get the ‘All out’ and open a one-point lead. Patna soon got back into the lead through Sachin and brought in the experienced Monu Goyat as a substitute to sharpen their attack.
The scores were 21-20 in favour of the Pirates at half time.
Sachin clinched his Super 10 in the second minute after half time but the Titans continued to match the Pirates blow for blow. Their defence ensured there were no easy points up for Pirates’ raiders.
Ankit Beniwal also started supporting Rajnish in the raids as they moved to a one-point lead. The scores were 27-26 with 10 minutes remaining.
The depth of Patna’s squad meant they kept finding answers to all the challenges being thrown at them by the Titans. In the five minutes that followed the first Time Out, Patna outscored the Titans by three points to once again take the lead.
The momentum shift proved decisive as the Pirates inflicted an ‘All out’ with three minutes remaining to open a seven-point lead. Rajnish got his Super 10 for the Titans but that mattered little as the Pirates went on to clinch an important win.