Bengal Warriors just edged past champions Jaipur Pink Panthers to start off their home leg of the Pro Kabaddi League 2015 with a much-needed confidence.
The Kolkata side will now be looking to banking that confidence as they go head-to-head with Telugu Titans in their third game of the lucrative kabaddi league this season.
In a thrilling finish at the packed Netaji Indoor Stadium in Kolkata, the hosts relied on the incessant backing to notch out the 28-26 victory over the Pink Panthers. Inspirational defender Nilesh Shinde stood out to be one of the key performers of the night as his displays were cheered by the capacity crowd present.
The balding left corner man provided key moments in the game as he got the better of Jaipur's star raider Jasvir Singh on as many as two occasions, one of them being a super tackle.
At one point, the Warriors were trailing 20-14 in the second half, and then the defence stepped up to show their flair.
A brilliant last tackle of the match by left corner man Sachin Khambe on Rajesh Narwal, the last player on the field for Jaipur Pink Panthers, in the closing stages, gave the hosts a narrow win.
The result took the Bengal side to the fourth place in the table from two outings, behind third-placed Bengaluru Warriors, who defeated Patna Pirates 31-26 on Wednesday.
The Telugu Titans will now have to pull up their socks ahead of the game against the resurgent Warriors side, and they need to take forward their winning form to their third game of this year.
Wins against Dabang Delhi and Puneri Paltan in Mumbai, respectively, will give the Southern Indian side the much-needed boost ahead of Thursday's match, and the Hyderabadi side will have to count on their star raiders Meyraj Shaikh (Iran) and Rahul Chaudhary (India).
Sandeep is also expected to play a key part in the defence, along with Hadi Oshtorak (Iran), the costliest player in the league.
The match gets underway at 8 pm IST (3:30pm BST).
Previous meeting - 22 August, 2014: Telugu Titans 34 - 34 Bengal Warriors
Where to Watch Live:
Pro Kabaddi League: Bengal Warriors vs Telugu Titans, can be caught LIVE on Star Sports.
Hindi Coverage - Star Sports 3, Star Sports HD 3, Star Gold
English Coverage - Star Sports 2, Star Sports HD 2
Telugu Coverage - Maa Movies
Kannada Coverage - Suvarna Plus
Marathi Coverage - Star Pravah (Sunday Matches only)
UK viewers can catch the action on Life OK