Dabang Delhi’s star raider Naveen Kumar picked up yet another impressive Super 10 to help his team beat the Patna Pirates 37-36 in a thrilling Pro Kabaddi League final in Bengaluru on Friday.
The 21-year-old, the ‘Perfect Raider of the Match’ scored 13 points and was supported by the team’s second raider Vijay, who scored a Super 10 of his own with 14.
Patna Pirates, the three-time PKL champions were competing in their fourth final, while Delhi, last season’s runner-up were had reached their second summit clash. This was their first title.
While Naveen kept his end of the bargain, the Pirates’ left-corner defender Mohammadreza Shadloui Chiyaneh – who was expected to derail the ‘Naveen Express’ – had a tame evening in defence. The Iranian defender managed just two tackle points, but did manage to contribute with one touch and two tackle points while raiding in the final moments of the match.
Shadloui was later awarded the ‘Defender of the Season,’ while Naveen was the ‘Most Valuable Player.’
Sachin Tanwar also had a decent evening for the Pirates, picking up 10 points, but it was the Delhi team that eventually managed to edge their way to the title.
Patna were the overwhelming favourites ahead of the final, given their consistent and ruthless run throughout the season. The Delhi team though, have been the most consistent team these past two seasons, having reached the final last season and now winning the title. They had also troubled Pirates during the league phase and proved to be too good in clutch moments as they completed a second half comeback.
And in the end, it was Naveen, who earlier overcame a potentially season-threatening knee injury, to guide the Delhi-team to their first ever PKL title.