It was a day of close encounters in the Pro Kabaddi League, as the Tamil Thalaivas came up with a 33-32 win over the Patna Pirates, and Dabang Delhi beat the Haryana Steelers 38-36, at the Shree Kanteerava Indoor Stadium in Bengaluru.

The wins gave the Thalaivas their first triumph of the season after a draw and two losses, while the Delhi team have now won five from five to continue leading the pack in the group table.

The first match on Monday saw a bottom of the table clash between the only two teams in Season 9 who were yet to win a match.

In the pre-season auction, the Thalaivas had seemingly put all their eggs in one basket as they put in over half their Rs 4.4 crore budget into the purchase of Pawan Sehrawat, for Rs 2.26 crore. Sehrawat – a talented and instrumental leader – however suffered an injury in the opening match of the season and has been ruled out for an unspecified amount of time.

In his absence, the Thalaivas have struggled and needed the remaining players to step up. Himanshu Singh, who came on as a second half substitute did just that as he top scored for his team with 11 raid points. He was decently supported in attack by Narender who won nine points.

As for the Pirates, who have lost four and drawn one, they’ve struggled to find any rhythm this season, and central to that has been the last season’s best defender Mohammadreza Shadloui Chiyaneh’s indifferent form.

The defence hasn’t clicked and on the night, there was some resistance from Rohit Gulia who scored 11 points but did not have enough support from his teammates.

In the second match, Naveen Kumar came up with yet another Super 10, scoring 15 points to lead his team to a fifth win this season. It was still a close match, mainly due to the heroics of Manjeet who scored 12 points for the Steelers.

Dabang Delhi are the only team to be undefeated so far this season.