Dabang Delhi pulled off a coup on Friday as it beat Patna Pirates 37-36 to clinch its maiden Pro Kabaddi League (PKL) title. Delhi was narrowly beaten by Bengal Warriors in last season's final, but coach Krishan Hooda’s men dazzled on the second time of asking.

Naveen Kumar and Vijay's raiding brilliance came to the side's aid once more as the duo bagged Super 10s and scored a total of 27 points - 73 per cent of their team’s total points. The defence managed all of four points, Sandeep Narwal and Manjeet Chhillar managed two each.

 

AS IT HAPPENED | Pro Kabaddi Final Highlights: Dabang Delhi beats Patna Pirates to win maiden PKL title; Naveen, Vijay star with Super 10s

If Delhi’s defence was poor, Patna Pirates’ was no better. Mohammadreza Shadloui Chiyaneh, PKL 8’s most successful defender, had a rare off evening as he managed just two points. The rest of defence, collectively, scoured two more and crumbled under pressure, with Naveen and Vijay's combined offence proving much to handle; uncharacteristic for a team that had bossed the whole season.

Patna Pirates swatted away teams like they did not matter all through the season, but came up short against Delhi in both league games and in the all-important summit clash. And what cost the three-time champion dear was a lapse in strategy.

Coach Ram Mehar Singh had exhausted his full quota of five substitutions early into the second half - meaning his ace raiders Sachin and Guman would miss the last eight minutes.

And to make matters worse, Dabang Delhi was awarded a Technical Point because Patna Pirates had revived the wrong player. The players are to come back on the mat in the order they were eliminated, but an attention lapse on the bench saw Neeraj Narwal enter the mat instead of Sajin C. In hindsight, Patna will rue that point given that they lost the match by the very same margin.

The team severely lacked a raider in the death and Delhi was happy to take advantage, with Naveen bagging a point off the very last raid to seal the win.

Naveen had scored a whopping 18 points in the last final but still ended up a runner-up. It was only fitting that he scored the winning point to power Dabang Delhi to the title.