Host Dabang Delhi on Saturday notched up a thrilling 33-31 win over defending champion Bengaluru Bulls in the first match of the Delhi leg of the Pro Kabaddi League Season 7 at the Thyagaraj Sports Complex here.
Naveen Kumar was the star for the Delhi side which trailed for most parts of the match but inflicted a crucial All-Out in the final minutes on the Bulls to walk away with all the points.
Bengaluru Bulls started the match on the front foot, racing to a 5-0 lead, with Pawan Sehrawat flying high. The Bulls piled on the pressure, backed by their defence, to inflict the first All-Out of the match on Dabang Delhi in the 11th minute and open a gap of six points.
As it Happened | Dabang Delhi vs Bengaluru Bulls and Titans vs Pink Panthers
The defending champion continued to dominate with its defence, manned by Mahender Singh and Saurabh Nandal, thwarting all the raiders who came into their territory. The first half ended 19-11 in favour of the Bengaluru Bulls.
The league’s top raider, Pawan Sehrawat started the second half with the same intensity, rushing to his Super 10 (10 raid points) within six minutes of resumption as the Bulls maintained their pressure on Delhi.
The home team brought in Meraj Sheykh to add an extra dimension to their raids and the Iranian picked up bonus points to keep Debang Delhi in the game as the match edged closer to the final whistle.
Three points by Naveen Kumar in two successive raids with five minutes remaining in the match helped him reach a Super 10 and make it a one-point game.
The aggressive strategy saw Delhi force an All-Out on Bulls with 3 minutes remaining to take the lead.
But Pawan Sehwarat’s two-point raid tied the match once again with just a minute remaining.
Delhi then pulled off an important tackle in the final minute to win the first match of their home leg.
Bengaluru will only have itself to blame for allowing Delhi to clinch so many bonus points and finish off the game when it was on top for most parts.
The result saw Delhi move to second spot in the table.
- Titans beat Pink Panthers 24-21 in a thrilling game of Kabaddi -
The Telugu Titans moved up from the bottom of the points table after defeating table-topper Jaipur Pink Panthers 24-21 in an edge of the seat thriller.
The most interesting aspect of the game is that out of the 45 total points awarded, 29 were tackle points. And this included an incredible eight super tackles, with Jaipur claiming five and Hyderabad bagging three.
The raiders never got going throughout the entire game. Star raiders in the form of Siddharth Desai and Deepak Niwas Hooda could manage only three and one raid points respectively.
The Pink Panthers had come into this game without experienced defender Amit Hooda. But his replacement Santhapanaselvam covered up well for the right-corner as he got his first two tackles successful within the first seven minutes of the game.
Telugu Titans was leading 7-4 after the first quarter of the game. But that is when the Super Tackle parade began. Jaipur Pink Panthers claimed four successive double-point tackles and surged into the lead. The men in pink were leading the men in yellow 14-11 at half-time.
In the second half, it was the turn of the Titans to rack up the Super Tackles. Vishal Bhardwaj raised away to eight tackle points in no time. For a brief period, he looked set to break Manjeet Chhilar's all-time PKL record of 11 tackle points.
With the match tied at 17-17 and only nine minutes remaining on the clock, an Abozar Mighani thigh hold put his team on the front foot.
From there, Gholam Reza's side held on to its lead till the very end. However, the last raid was a close one as Farhad Milaghardan just managed to go past the mid-line, with his side leading by only two points and the opposition having a Super Tackle opportunity with only three men on the mat.
The Jaipur Pink Panthers reviewed the referee's decision hoping for a tie. But unfortunately for them, Telugu Titans had the final laugh.
(With inputs from PTI).
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