PKL: Delhi pulls off impressive win over Jaipur

It was the introduction of Abolfazl Maghsodlou which proved to be a game changer for the Delhi outfit as he rose to the occasion with a clinical display.

Jaipur Pink Panthers' players make an unsuccessful attempt to pin down Dabang Delhi's Abolfazl Maghsodlou, in blue jersey, during their PKL match in Hyderabad.   -  AP

 

Dabang Delhi pulled off a surprise 30-26 win over former champion, Jaipur Pink Panthers, in the league phase of the Vivo Pro Kabaddi League Season 5 at the Gachibowli Indoor Stadium here on Saturday.

Jaipur suffered a big blow in the first-half when its star raider K. Selvamani left the court with an injury. This seemed to have a major bearing as the match progressed even as the Jaipur outfit frittered away with a 16-9 lead at half-time.

It was the introduction of Abolfazl Maghsodlou which proved to be a game changer for the Delhi outfit as he rose to the occasion with a clinical display.

The skipper Meraj Sheykh was the dominant force with his all-round skills which saw him win the "Perfect Raider' award for scoring seven raid points. He doubled up in defence, especially the left-cover which he spearheaded superbly.

With the ever-reliable Nilesh Shinde taking charge of the right-cover with an impressive display, Delhi was clearly the superior side in the second-half. Nilesh scored five tackle points.

As the seasoned campaigner Jasvir Singh and captain Manjeet Chillar bottled up frequently during their raids, Jaipur was clearly struggling.

In fact, Delhi's tally of 12 tackle points to Pink Panthers five made a big difference on the final outcome. "We were not worried about the fact that we were trailing at half-time. For, we knew we could always come back if we stick to our plan and I must say our defence which is the best in this KPL played a decisive role," said the victorious Delhi coach Ramesh Dendigiri later.

A beaming captain Meraj said that the returning Abolfazl as a substitute was the turning point of the match. Jaipur coach Balwan Singh pointed out that there were quite a few costly lapses in both defence and attack.

Patna Pirates downs Titans

In the second match of the evening, two-time champion Patna Pirates quelled a spirited challenge from crowd favourite Telugu Titans to notch up a 35-29 win thanks primarily to a super raid by Pardeep Narwal and the all-out scored in the dying moments of the match.

The results:

Delhi Dabang bt Jaipur Pink Panthers 30-26.

Patna Pirates bt Telugu Titans 35-29

Monday's matches: U Mumba vs Haryana Steelers (8.00pm); Telugu Titans vs Bengaluru Bulls (9. 00 pm).