The first semi-final at the NSCI stadium witnessed 3rd placed Bengaluru Bulls take on 2nd placed Telugu Titans. The match saw the third placed Bengaluru team pull out a win to make it to the finals. Here are a few key talking points.
#1 Bengaluru Bulls vs Telegu Titan starts as a close tie but breaks open towards end of the first half
In the opening minutes of the game, it seemed like a perfect semi-final clash. Both Bengaluru Bulls and the Telugu Titans were persistent in their approach. The same approach continued till the 17th minute as scores read 9-10 in favour of the Bengaluru Bulls.
However, by the time the contest reached its half-way mark the tide had turned in favour of the Bulls. A six point gap was created at the end of the half by the Bengaluru Bulls after gaining the first all-out of the game in the 19th minute.
#2 Bengaluru go on the rampage and build a 16 point lead
With a successful closure to the opening half, everyone expected the Titans to fight back. However Bengaluru Bulls started in a dominating fashion taking the point difference to ten in the first five minutes of the second half.
#3 Bengaluru Bulls vs Telegu Titans – Key performers & non performers
Telugu Titans captain Meraj Sheykh had a poor showing on the night, while Bengaluru Bulls raider Ajay Thakur enjoyed a superb game. He almost returned with a super raid and helped the Bulls establish a lead of 16 points (their biggest in the game).
By the 30th minute, the lead stood at 15 points. A comeback from that stage for the Titans seemed highly unlikely given the limited time on hand.
#4 Telugu Titans fight to the end
The Telugu Titans made a last ditch effort in the dying moments of the game to overcome a hefty trail. And, they almost did it. They almost beat the Bengaluru Bulls for the first time.
The Titans began to revive their chances by winning 5 points in two minutes bringing the lead down and also forced the Bulls coach Randhir Singh to take a time-out in order to calm his players. The match burst with excitement from the 37th minute onwards as the Titans won their fifth super tackle and followed it up with quick points by Sandeep Kandola and Rahul Chaudhari’s raids sparking a comeback for the team.
#5 Manjit Chhillar comes to the rescue
The score card read 37-38 in favour of the Bulls when Manjeet Chhillar raided the Titans entering the 40th minute mark and scored the game’s most important point to take two points lead with only a buzzer raid left. The game could have still been anybody’s if Bengaluru captain Manjeet had not sacrificed himself in the final raid and ensured victory for his side and also their first win in the knockout stages after two unsuccessful attempts in the previous season.
Manjit nipped the Telegu come back as he not only gained a crucial point in the last minute but also ensured that the opponents could only get one point in their last raid of the match. He made all the difference between the two teams.