PKL 8: Sandeep Narwal, Manjeet Chhillar help Dabang Delhi shock Patna Pirates; U Mumba held to draw by Gujarat Giants
PKL 8: Dabang Delhi seemed just fine without Naveen Kumar, pulling off an upset over Patna Pirates, while Gujarat Giants and U Mumba had to settle for a draw on Tuesday.
Manjeet Chhillar (L), the defender with most tackle points in PKL history, produced a last-raid tackle to clinch the thriller for Delhi, who were once again without the services of their star raider Naveen Kumar.
Dabang Delhi's seasoned stars Sandeep Narwal and Manjeet Chhillar had a night to remember as they helped their team beat Patna Pirates 32-29 in the Pro Kabaddi League here on Tuesday.
Chhillar, the defender with most tackle points in PKL history, produced a last-raid tackle to clinch the thriller for Delhi, who were once again without the services of their star raider Naveen Kumar.
Vijay aided with nine points while Narwal, playing the role of an all-rounder, clinched eight points in a win that helped Delhi move to the top of the points table.
As it happened: Pro Kabaddi PKL 8 Highlights: Dabang Delhi beat Patna Pirates 32-29, back on top
Patna lacked the usual sharpness in their defence which ultimately cost them the match.
Patna dominated the early minutes of the match, but Delhi made a comeback through their raider Vijay. He got valuable points off a surprisingly unstable Patna defence to give Delhi the momentum to clinch an ALL OUT in the 10th minute to open a 4-point lead.
Narwal and Chhillar used all their experience to good effect on the mat as Delhi's defence thwarted their opponents.
Patna's cover defender Sajin C suffered a knee injury and had to be replaced which clearly affected their team's chemistry. Narwal donned the role of a perfect all-rounder in the first half by also fetching raid points for Delhi.
At the interval, Delhi had a 9-point lead with scores 19-10.
Patna showed why experts had called them early season favourites to a playoff spot by clawing their way back into the match. The first 10 minutes after the restart belonged completely to Patna as Sachin and Guman Singh exploited the errors in Delhi defence.
The lack of a lethal raider affected Delhi's attack and they finally succumbed to an ALL in the 10th minute. Patna had managed to reduce the lead to just one point and were clearly the team with momentum.
But Delhi were in no mood to let this slip. Narwal's 2-point raid opened the lead to three points as both teams traded blows. Mohammadreza Shadloui then clawed one back for Patna with a stunning ankle hold on Ashu Malik.
Vijay then produced a 3-point Super Raid with three minutes remaining to give Delhi a 4-point lead. Patna needed two points in their last raid, but Chhillar brought out a brilliant diving tackle to help Delhi win the match.
|U Mumba 24-24 Gujarat Giants|
U Mumba and Gujarat Giants shared the spoils in an entertaining 24-24 tie.
Ajay Kumar, Gujarat’s star of the night with 7 points, clinched an important point in the last minute to earn his team a tie. Both teams will look back at the match and think they could have won it had they been a little more proactive. Ajith Kumar was the best raider for Mumbai in the low-scoring game that also their right corner Rinku pick up a High 5.
Gujarat started the match strongly with Rakesh S and Ajay Kumar handling the bulk of the raiding duties. They made most out of a hesitant U Mumba defence in the initial minutes. At the other end, Abhishek Singh and Ajith Kumar took turns to raid for the Mumbai team.
As it happened: Pro Kabaddi PKL 8 Highlights: Despite fightback, U Mumba held to draw by Gujarat Giants
Ajith looked like he had recovered from the back injury he suffered earlier in the season and moved effortlessly around the mat. But it was the Gujarat defence who dominated the first half with three tackle points more than U Mumba. At the break, the scores were 13-10 with no ALL OUTs inflicted.
Mumbai’s lack of conviction was the main theme of the first 10 minutes after the restart. Hesitation to go for tackles and slow movement in the raids meant Gujarat had a 5-point lead at the first Time Out. Girish Ernak, Parvesh Bhainswal and Sunil started getting more tackle points as Mumbai coach Rajaguru Subramanian encouraged Ajinkya Kapre to take up more raids.
Right when Gujarat sensed an ALL OUT Rinku produced a stunning Super Tackle to give Mumbai the momentum. Ajith Kumar then brought out a series of successful raids to level the points for Mumbai.
Rinku got his High 5 and Abhishek Singh clinched a point in a Do-or-Die raid to give Mumbai the lead with under 2 minutes to go. But Ajay Kumar secured a point in the penultimate raid of the match for Gujarat to earn his team a tie.
(With inputs from PTI)