Mohammad Nabibakhsh produced a last-minute super raid to help Bengal Warriors pull off an incredible comeback to clinch a 42-39 victory against Puneri Paltan in the Pro Kabaddi match on Sunday.
The Iranian raider produced a five-point raid in the dying minutes to give Bengal a lead and change the match entirely, much to the dismay of the Paltan side who had, until then, dominated the match.
Young Pankaj Mohite and all-rounder Manjeet both impressed for the Pune side as they stifled the Bengal raiders but their good work was all undone by a raiding brilliance by Nabibakhsh in the final minute of the match.
A closely contested first half saw both teams match each other in all departments. Pankaj Mohite was handed a rare spot in the starting seven for Pune as coach Anup Kumar benched the experienced Nitin Tomar for the young raider.
And it wasn’t surprising to see the raider make an instant impact as Paltan raced to a four-point lead. But Bengal Warriors have the best raiding trio of the league in Maninder Singh, K Prapanjan and Mohammad Nabibakhsh, and the raiders ensured the home side clawed their way back into the game.
A three-point raid by Maninder in the fourth minute was followed by good teamwork from the Warriors as they inflicted an All-Out on Pune in the tenth minute of the half. But Pune didn’t let that stop their flow and made a comeback through Pankaj Mohite’s incredible raids.
Paltan got clinched their first All-Out of the match in the dying minutes of the second half to go into the break trailing by a single point (20-21).
Bengal and Pune kept matching each other in the early minutes of the second half but mistakes from the Warriors’ raiding unit coupled with Manjeet’s all-round brilliance for Pune saw the Paltan take a slender three-point lead by the tenth minute of the half. Pankaj Mohite picked up his Super 10 as the Pune side inflicted another All-Out on the home side in the 13th minute of the half to move to a nine-point lead.
A Super Raid by Bengal’s Sukesh Hegde made it an interesting few last minutes but Pune had a four-point lead going into the last minute, something they would have thought would be enough to see them through. Unfortunately for Anup Kumar’s side, Mohammad Nabibakhsh had other plans, and his multi-point raid helped Warriors clinch an important victory at home.
Dabang Delhi thrash Tamil Thalaivas
Dabang Delhi got back to winning in style with a convincing 50-34 victory over Tamil Thalaivas in the earlier Pro Kabaddi match on Sunday.
Naveen Kumar, 19, was once again the star for Delhi as he added another Super 10 to his name to make it 12 in a row.
Delhi now sit firmly atop the 12-team standings with 59 points from 14 matches.
For the Chennai franchise, this was their sixth defeat on the trot as they slipped to 11th place with 27 points from 14 matches.
Smarting from a disappointing loss against Haryana Steelers on Saturday, Delhi re-jigged their raiding department by bringing in experienced star Meraj Sheykh in place of Chandran Ranjit, resulting in a dominant show from the outset.
Naveen was in exceptional form once again as Delhi effected the first all-out of the match in the 10th minute at the Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose indoor stadium.
Before the half time, it was 24-12 in favour of Delhi.
Naveen raced to his Super 10 in the first minute of the second half.
Sheykh produced a three-point raid to reduce the Thalaivas to just one man on the mat.
The third all-out was achieved by the third minute of the half as Sheykh claimed his Super 10 in what was becoming an absolute thrashing for the Thalaivas.
Thalaivas had already committed a whopping 24 unsuccessful tackles by the 15th minute of the half and that summed up their misery.
Rahul Chaudhari clinched his Super 10 and Ajith Kumar secured nine in the final stages of the match but there was no coming back for the Chennai-based franchise.
On Monday, UP Yoddha take on Gujarat Fortunegiants before Tamil Thalaivas’ game against Patna Pirates.