Dabang Delhi KC launched a stunning second half comeback to snatch victory against UP Yoddhas 44-42 in the Pro Kabaddi League at the Shree Kanteerava Indoor Stadium in Bengaluru on Wednesday. Dabang Delhi’s Naveen Kumar (13 points) and Manjeet (12 points) starred for the winning team while Surender Gill picked up 21 points for the Yoddhas in a losing effort.
In the first match of the night, the Bengal Warriors picked up their second consecutive victory after taking down Bengaluru Bulls 42-33. Captain Maninder Singh was the star performer for the Warriors with 11 points, while raider Shrikant Jadhav contributed with 6 points.
Billed as a clash between UP Yoddhas’ record-reaking raider Pardeep Narwal and Delhi’s young phenomenon Naveen Kumar, the action did not disappoint. It was the Yoddhas defence, who, in the early stages, looked impenetrable and had Delhi on the ropes. They initiated the first All Out of the game with just seven minutes gone to take a commanding 11-4 lead.
At the other end Gill constantly picked up points for the Yoddhas and ensured they built on their commanding lead. At 18-10 they inflicted another all out, making it seem like the contest was all but over, with barely a quarter of the game gone.
And yet, Delhi kept chipping away, Naveen constantly getting bonus points with almost every raid. In the dying seconds of the first half, with the last raid, Manjeet pulled off a Super Raid catching four UP Yoddhas to ensure his team had reduced the deficit going into half time.
Manjeet’s Super Raid galvanised the Delhi team out of a stupor, and they came into the second half a different unit completely, dominating the proceedings from the word go. UP Yoddhas’ blushes were saved, only because of the brilliance of Surender Gill, whose two successful raids as the last man on the mat ensured his team didn’t suffer an All Out.
Eventually though, the All Out did come, and helped Delhi get their heads back into the game. From thereon, Naveen came alive, catching the Yoddhas defenders with almost every raid, and soon enough initiating another All Out to help his team take the lead for the first time in the game at 37-36.
Thereafter, the two teams kept trading the lead, never extending by one point. However, two crucial errors right at the end, first by Gill and second by Narwal, ensured the Dabang Delhi KC pulled off a spectacular comeback to keep their winning streak alive.
Warriors notch second win of the season
Girish Maruti Ernak pulled off a couple of brilliant tackles as Bengal Warriors inched ahead at 3-1. However, Aman tackled Shrikant Jadhav and moments later, Bharat effected a raid to help the Bulls gain the lead at 5-4 in the 10th minute. The Bengaluru defense unit led by Aman showcased top form and reduced the Warriors to just two players on the mat in the 12th minute.
Thereafter, the Bulls inflicted an All Out in the 17th minute and took a massive lead at 14-9. But, the Warriors came roaring back through stupendous raids by Maninder Singh and regained the lead at 15-14 at the end of the first half.
The Bengal team rode on the momentum and inflicted an All Out in the opening minutes of the second half to widen their lead at 20-17. Maninder continued to chip in with raid points as the Warriors earned a 9-point lead at 27-18 in the 28th minute.
Moments later, Bengal inflicted another All Out to take complete control of the match. Vikash Kandola effected a couple of raids in the last few minutes of the match, but Bengaluru couldn’t catch up with the Warriors. The Bengal team held on to their lead and closed out a clinical victory in the end.