Maninder Singh and Shubham Shinde combined to lead the Bengal Warriors to a comprehensive 48-38 win over the Tamil Thalaivas on Sunday, at the Sree Kanteerava Indoor Stadium in Bengaluru. In the second match of the day, the Haryana Steelers pipped Dabang Delhi 35-33 to win by two points.
Bengal captain Singh led his team’s charge with 16 raid points. But Shinde, arguably, had a stronger showing on the night, picking up a solid 11 tackle points against the Thalaivas.
Narender did manage to pick up a Super 10 for the Tamil team, scoring 13 points, but did not have enough support from his teammates.
The Bengal side tackled Narender and took the lead at 6-3 in the third minute. The Warriors continued to put the pressure on the Thaliavas and eventually inflicted an all out to extend their lead in the seventh minute.
However, Narender tackled Shrikant Jadhav and Nitin Singh pulled off a raid to reduce the gap between the two sides. Narender continued to shine as the Thalaivas reduced the Warriors to two members on the mat.
The side from Tamil Nadu went on to inflict an all out, but the Warriors still held the lead at 16-15 in the 13th minute. However, the Thaliavas rode on the momentum and clinched the lead at 18-17 in the 15th minute. Thereafter, both sides kept trading the lead until the Thaliavas inflicted another all out to take a decent lead at 27-21 just before the break.
The Thaliavas and Warriors played a defensive game in the opening minutes of the second half as the side from Tamil Nadu led comfortably at 29-23. However, Singh pulled off a Super Raid to help his team reduce the gap at 26-29. Moments later, the Warriors inflicted an all out to take the lead at 31-29 in the 29th minute.
Singh kept picking raid points and helped his team inflict another all out in the 35th minute and take a big lead at 41-33. Thereafter, the Bengal side ensured that they stayed in the lead for the rest of the game and eventually wrapped up a 10-point victory.
Steelers beat Delhi
Delhi’s Naveen Kumar (16 points) and Steelers’ raider Siddharth Desai (10 points) were the standout performers of the day.
The Delhi side made a blistering start off the blocks, and with barely five minutes gone, inflicted a first all out on the Steelers to take a 10-2 lead. An assertive Kumar seemed to be picking up points with every raid he went for, and the Steelers, reeling from the onslaught, were down by 10 points for a while.
As the half wore on the Steelers slowly came together, and stemmed the point bleed, but their raiders struggled to get going. It all changed with three minutes of the half to go though, Steelers’ Vinay picked up a Super Raid on on Vishal Bhardwaj, Yogesh and Mohit, starting a sequence which saw them inflict an all out. The gap was a mere four points at the break with Delhi leading at 21-17.
The Steelers’ comeback continued early in the second half, and within five minutes of the restart, they inflicted another all out to take a 25-21 lead. Capitalising on some stout and solid defending from his team, Siddharth Desai hit a rich vein and soon started racking points with almost every raid.
In a frenetic finish, Kumar almost single-handedly launched Delhi’s comeback and with a minute to go had closed the gap to two points. However, Ashish, the last Steelers player on the mat, stole a point on the last raid of the evening to take his team home.