Naveen Kumar was the star for home side Dabang Delhi once again as they beat Patna Pirates 38-35 in front of a jubilant crowd at the Thyagaraj Sports Complex in New Delhi.
The 19-year-old raider entered the history books when he became the first raider in Pro Kabaddi history to secure nine consecutive Super 10s (awarded to players with 10 raid points or more) as Delhi finished their home leg with a 100 percent win record (four wins in four matches) and consolidated their position on top of the table.
Dabang Delhi started with a bang as Naveen got them to flying start. Patna Pirates hardly got time to settle into the match as the home side inflicted an all-out on them in less than four minutes into the match – the fastest this season.
Delhi were playing with the swagger of a side full of confidence as was evident from the confident ankle-hold by the Ravinder Pahal on Pardeep Narwal immediately after the all-out.
The Delhi side continued to dominate and forced another all-out on a hapless Patna side in the 12th minute to pull 18-7 clear. The first half also Naveen Kumar break his opponent Pardeep Narwal’s record of 8 consecutive Super 10s.
But the Patna raider was in no mood to give up without a fight and he inspired a late resurgence in the dying minutes of the half to inflict an all-out on Delhi with under three minutes remaining to half time. The half ended with scores 26-17 in favour of Delhi.
Both teams opted for a cautious approach after the restart. Patna’s Pardeep Narwal looked in good form as he rushed to nine raid points in the initial minutes but the team’s lack of raiding support proved to be crucial as the star raider spent most of his time in the dugout waiting to be revived.
A superb solo performance in the closing stages of the match by Pardeep Narwal, inflicting another all-out on Delhi in the process, made it a tantalisingly close affair in the final minutes. But a smart raid by Naveen Kumar, who set another record in the night by becoming the fastest player to reach 300 Pro Kabaddi points (33 matches), saved Delhi the blushes.
Patna Pirates, currently at the bottom of the table, will take positives from the match despite succumbing to a loss as the Kabaddi bandwagon moves to Bengaluru.
Puneri Paltan see off Telugu Titans
Puneri Paltan produced an all-round performance to beat Telugu Titans 34-27 in the earlier game on Thursday.
Nitin Tomar (8 points) and Manjeet (9 points) were among points for Anup Kumar-coached Pune side, despite a record-setting defensive display by the Titans.
The Titans produced 7 Super Tackles, as they jumped to the tenth place in the points table.
Pune dominated the initial minutes of the match, thwarting Siddharth Desai’s raids while Nitin Tomar picked up valuable raid points at the other end.
But Titans’ defender Vishal Bhardwaj, who has made a name for himself as the king of Super Tackles in Season 7, sparked off a series of Super Tackles, ably supported by his teammates Abozar Mighani and Amit Kumar, to keep the Titans in the game.
The Telugu team produced 5 Super Tackles in the first half as Vishal Bhardwaj raced to a High 5 (awarded to defenders with five or more tackle points) but the defensive masterclass was not enough to prevent an all-out in the final minute of the half which ended 17-14 in favour of the Pune side.
Siddharth was in no mood to let Pune dominate him and started the second half positively, picking four points in his first four raids of the half.
Desai also reached a personal milestone of 300 Pro Kabaddi points with the raids. But sadly for Titans, the defenders struggled to replicate their first-half form, with Bhardwaj making a mistake on an ankle hold that allowed Pune’s Manjeet to escape with a 4-point super raid four minutes after the restart.
The move allowed Pune to open up a 6-point lead which they went on to hold firmly.
Balasaheb Jadhav, who has certainly been Pune’s find of the season, came in the second half to solidify the defence while Manjeet and Tomar took care of the raiding duties.
Tomar reached a milestone of 400 Pro Kabaddi points towards latter stages of the match as Pune saw out the late challenge from the Telugu side.
The action now moves to Bengaluru where home side Bengaluru Bulls take on Gujarat Fortunegiants in a repeat of last season’s final before U Mumba’s clash against Jaipur Pink Panthers.
|RANK||TEAM||MATCHES PLAYED||WON||LOST||DRAW||SCORE DIFFERENCE||POINTS|
|1||DABANG DELHI K.C||11||9||1||1||60||49|
|3||JAIPUR PINK PANTHERS||11||7||4||0||31||37|