Naveen Kumar dished out a superlative performance as Dabang Delhi beat Jaipur Pink Panthers 46-44 in a Pro Kabaddi match at the Sree Kanteevara Stadium in Bengaluru on Wednesday.

The raider picked up 16 points, including a record-setting 10th consecutive Super 10, as the Delhi side overcame a stiff challenge from Jaipur Pink Panthers to consolidate their position on top of the points table.

The first half of the match saw both teams trade major blows. The Delhi unit had a dream start to the match when their raider Chandran Ranjit pulled off a 5-point raid in the second minute of the match to severely reduce the Jaipur men on the mat.

The Pink Panthers, who went into the game on the back of a three-match losing streak, looked clueless as a dominant Delhi side inflicted the first all-out of the match in the fourth minute.

Jaipur didn’t take the all-out lightly though and captain Deepak Niwas Hooda initiated a comeback with some strong raids.

Nitin Rawal picked up a five-point raid in the 12th minute to clean up the Delhi players and force an all-out on the table toppers. The closely-fought first half ended with Dabang Delhi leading by two points (21-19).

The second half, much like the first, started with the Delhi side on the front foot. But Sachin Narwal produced an important two-point raid that saved the Pink Panthers from an all-out and handed the momentum to the season one winners.

Elavarasan produced two Super Tackles as the Pink Panthers moved into a lead before inflicting another all-out on Delhi in the 12th minute of the second half to make the scores 35-29 in their favour.

The incredible Naveen Kumar, however, kept the Delhi side in the game, clinching his 10th consecutive Super 10 with five minutes remaining.

A three-point raid by Delhi’s Vijay in the dying minutes made it a close affair. And not surprisingly it was the table-toppers who held their nerves to pick a final minute all-out that pushed them to a 2-point lead which proved enough for a win.

Bengaluru Bulls’ late rally floors Patna Pirates

Home side Bengaluru Bulls produced a remarkable comeback to beat three-time Pro Kabaddi champions Patna Pirates 40-39 in another thrilling encounter on Wednesday.

Pawan Sehrawat, with another Super 10 (17 raid points), was once again the star for the defending champions in a match that saw Patna Pirates lead for a long time. Pardeep Narwal’s Super 10 (14 raid points) for the Pirates went in vain as defensive blunders at crucial junctures of the match saw the win slip away from their clutches.

Pardeep started off the proceedings on the front foot, picking valuable points for a struggling Patna side with clever raids. Pawan Sehrawat was equally good in his raids but Patna’s defence was better than Bulls’ in the first half. Pardeep’s two-point raid in the 13th minute inflicted the first all-out on the home side and stretched the lead to six points in favour of the three-time champions.

Pardeep then produced a stunning four-point raid (taking out Mahender Singh, Mohit Sehrawat, Rohit Kumar and Amit Sheoran) in the 15th minute to build up a healthy lead for the Pirates. Bengaluru’s biggest problem on the mat in the first half was their captain Rohit Kumar’s poor form as a raider. He didn’t get a single point in a first half that saw Patna take a six-point lead to the break (22-16).

Patna began the second half strongly but this time thanks to their defence. The Iranian duo of Mohammad Esmaeil Maghsoudlou and Hardi Osthorak produced Super Tackles for the Patna team to push them further ahead.

But Rohit Kumar came into his own in the second half and was in the points for the Bulls as they slowly reduced the Pirates on the mat. Amit Kumar, the last man on the mat for Patna, produced a Super Raid with under seven minutes remaining in the clock to revive two Patna players and prevent an all-out.

The Bulls did eventually get their all-out, despite all the efforts by Pardeep Narwal (who secured his Super 10 in the process) with under four minutes remaining.

Pawan Sehrawat then produced a two-point raid in the dying minutes to complete the comeback, clinching a personal milestone of 500 Pro Kabaddi points, to tie the match at 38-38. The Bulls who had the momentum went on to clinch the victory in the final minute of the match.

On Thursday, U Mumba take on Puneri Paltan in a solitary game on the day.

Points Table

1 DABANG DELHI K.C 12 10 1 1 54
2 BENGALURU BULLS 14 8 6 0 43
3 HARYANA STEELERS 12 8 4 0 41
4 BENGAL WARRIORS 12 6 4 2 40
6 U MUMBA 12 6 6 0 34
7 U.P.YODDHA 12 5 5 2 32
9 TELUGU TITANS 12 4 6 2 29
10 TAMIL THALAIVAS 13 3 8 2 27
11 PUNERI PALTAN 12 4 7 1 25
12 PATNA PIRATES 12 3 9 0 20