Sheykh, Maghsodlou star as Delhi clinches cliffhanger

Dabang Delhi KC defeated Tamil Thalaivas 30-29.

Meraj Sheykh (in blue) in action for Dabang Delhi against Tamil Thalaivas. Photo: Special Arrangement

Meraj Sheykh’s single-handed effort helped Dabang Delhi KC clinch a cliff-hanger 30-29 against Tamil Thalaivas in an inter-zone Pro Kabaddi tie at the Arena by Transstadia on Thursday.

The Delhi captain Sheykh conjured the moment of the match when against all odds, he wriggled out of a chain tackle and won three massive points for his side to convert a deficit of 27-28 to a lead of 30-28. It led to Thalaivas’ captain Ajay Thakur being the lone man standing in defence. After a lacklustre showing in the previous matches, Thakur made amends, winning 14 points by making all of his raids count, but in the end he was outwitted by his counterpart.

With 62 seconds remaining, the Chennai side would have hoped for a second win, but Sheykh’s magnificent raid stunned the rival camp. Sheykh tallied 9 points (8 touch and 1 bonus).

Game changer

In the first half of the game, the Delhi side made a crucial substitution, bringing in the second Iranian Abolfazl Maghsodlou. The tall and strong all-rounder turned out to be the game changer, tallying 11 points (4 touch points, 5 bonus and 2 tackle points). Sheykh and Maghsodlou provided plenty of thrill and entertainment.

Sheykh, with his side leading by a point, opted for time to lapse during his last raid. He would have been delighted with the result because, at the stroke of half time, he had conceded super tackle points to the Thaliavas’ D. Pradab and Vijay Kumar. Usually, he would have won a 1-2 situation easily with a running hand touch or toe touch, but after a desperate attempt to reach one of the last two Thalaivas defenders, he became a victim himself for the teams to be tied at 12-12.

While Thakur held the centre stage, his colleague K. Prapanjan (one raid point) was not given leeway by the rival corners and the Thalaivas paid a heavy price because of his absence from play at regular intervals. Defender Amit Hooda, too, made mistakes and Thalaivas lacked the breadth in quality to win points in attack and defence. This helped Maghsodlou bridge the gap after the second half, winning touch and bonus points twice, before Sheykh delivered the killer blow, dispatching three rival defenders to the bench with around half a minute remaining.

Fortunegiants manages tie

Mahendra Rajput's second last raid yielded five points (three touch and two all out) as Gujarat Fortunegiants (GFG) made a spectacular a recovery from 21-23 to lead 26-23 and forced a tie against Bengal Warriors in the last inter-zone match played here. It was the fifth tied result in the ongoing league. Warriors was within sniffing distance of victory, but Rajput dashed its hopes with a calculated effort. Deepak Narwal (9 points ) pulled back the last three points for the Warriors , but his captain Surjeet Singh was left furious in the end.

GFG finished the home leg of the league with five wins and one tie.
 

Scores: Dabang Delhi KC 30 Tamil Thalaivas 29; Gujarat Fortunegiants 26 Bengal Warriors 26.