Naveen Kumar became the sixth player in Pro Kabaddi League history to notch up 1000 raid points as he led the Dabang Delhi to a 38-29 win over the Bengal Warriors on Monday at the SDAT Indoor Stadium in Chennai. In the second match of the day, the Haryana Steelers beat hosts Tamil Thalaivas 42-29.

Kumar and Ashu Malik effected raids as Dabang Delhi took a 3-0 in the third minute. The Delhi side continued to put pressure on the Warriors and reduced them to two members on the mat. Moments later, Delhi tackled Shrikant Jadhav and inflicted the first all out of the match to take a 9-2 lead.

Maninder Singh picked up a couple of raid points, but Delhi still held the lead at 10-5 in the ninth minute.

Ashish effected a couple of brilliant tackles as Delhi continued to hold the lead at 14-7 in the 14th minute. Kumar then pulled off a fantastic running hand touch and reduced the Warriors to just two members on the mat in the 16th minute. The Delhi side tackled Nitin Kumar and inflicted another all out just before the break, taking a 23-16 lead at halftime.

Delhi’s defence unit tackled Maninder Singh and Jadhav in the opening minutes of the second half and helped its team to take a massive lead at 27-18 in the 25th minute. Moments later, Naveen registered his 1000th raid point in PKL.

Singh and Jadhav tried to attain momentum through raid points, but the Delhi defence continued to stand tall and ensure that its team stayed ahead at 30-20 in the 31st minute. Naveen kept picking up raid points as Dabang Delhi held a comfortable lead at 32-22 in the 34th minute and eventually held on to take the win.

Steelers beat Thalaivas

Tamil Thalaivas’ poor form at home continued as this was their fourth consecutive loss this season. Their only positive takeaway was Sahil Gulia, the left corner, finishing with 10 tackle points.

Haryana Steelers came into the game with excellent form and rode the momentum to storm to a 5-1 lead. Both teams opted to play to their defences and the Tamil Thalaivas managed an early comeback through two super tackles to trail 6-7 in the 11th minute.

However, Vinay produced one of the raids of the season to put the Steelers ahead 14-7. Up against a three-man defence, he got past Himanshu Singh, Nitesh Kumar and a managed last-gasp touch on Ajinkya Pawar before showing incredible backtracking skills and court awareness to get his fingers past the mid-line and inflict the all out. That raid set the tone of the opening half as the Steelers went into the break leading 18-12.

The Thalaivas had a poor first 20 minutes as they managed just four raid points and their ace raider Narender, who was brought back to the squad for this game, was substituted.

The Steelers continued to hold a lead of at least seven points in the second half as Shivam Patare came off the bench to take over their raiding responsibilities. The Thalaivas had a golden chance to make a comeback in the 29th minute, but Rahul Sethpal executed a super tackle to eliminate Jatin and extend his side’s lead at 29-20. The tackle also completed Rahul’s High 5.

The Steelers were reduced to three men yet again – in the 31st and 33rd minute – but the defence bailed them out as Rahul and Jaideep Dahiya both produced super tackles.

The Steelers led 35-22 with five minutes to go. The Thalaivas tried their best to reduce the deficit, but yet another super tackle from Mohit capped off the victory for Manpreet Singh’s side.

The 13-point win margin marked the Steelers’ biggest win of the season.