Naveen Kumar inspires Dabang Delhi K.C. to a thrilling 33-31 win over Bengaluru Bulls
Dabang Delhi K.C. began their home leg with a closely contested 33-31 victory over defending champions Bengaluru Bulls at the Thyagaraj Sports Complex in Delhi on Saturday. The Home side's star Raider, Naveen Kumar's Super 10 with 13 raid points and a crucial tackle by Ravindra Pahal on Bulls' main man Pawan Sehrawat with 17 Raid points in the last minute of the match enabled them to record a late win over their opponents. Bengaluru Bulls started on a promising note, notching up a 4-0 lead within the first 2 minutes of the First Half, with right corner Saurabh Nandal bringing down Dabangs' Chandran Ranjit with a firm Ankle Hold. Pawan Sehrawat nearly pulled off an early super raid, dismissing Dabangs' captain and left-corner, Joginder Narwal.
To follow live scores with commentary please click on the link: Pro Kabaddi Live commentary and score updates
HIGHLIGHTS Naveen led Dabang Delhi to win over Pawan Sehrawat and Bengaluru Bulls
The Home side got reduced to 4 men on the mat as Pawan Sehrawat caught Ravindra Pahal out at the right corner, landing a speedy Running Hand Touch on the defender. Pawan stepped in his next raid to reduce the home side's team count further but he was halted in his attempt to do so. Right-cover, Vishal Mane, engaged this season's leading Raider with a terrific, one on one advanced tackle that pinned Pawan down to the mat. Soon after, Naveen Kumar registered a bonus point in his Do or Die Raid, putting the scoreline at 5-2.
Pawan Sehrawat continued to trouble Dabang Delhi K.C.'s defense and soon helped Bengaluru Bulls to inflict an All Out in the 11th minute of the First Half, racing to a 12-6 lead. Post the All Out, Dabangs' Naveen Kumar spearheaded his side's response with some efficient raiding along with some solid defensive displays, cutting down the defending champions' lead to 5 Points. Bulls responded well in a couple of Do or Die situations, enabling them to end the first half well with an 8-point lead over the home side, at 19-11.
Dabang Delhi K.C. began the second half on a strong note, racking up 3 points to stage a comeback. Garnering momentum, the Dabangs kept chipping down the lead margin held by their opponents but Pawan Sehrawat was proving to be increasingly difficult for the home side's defense to contain as Bulls kept the Home side at bay. In the 13th minute, Dabangs were inching closer to their opponents with just 4 points behind on the scoreline at 20-24 after Ravindra Pahal tackled down Bulls' captain Rohit Kumar in his Do or Die Raid. This 4 points' lead was cut short to just 1 point's as Naveen Kumar dismissed Bulls' defensive duo of Amit Sheoran and Mahender Singh in an impressive Do or Die situation following which he dismissed Bulls' right corner Saurabh Nandal, reaching his Super 10 on the night.
Naveen Kumar kept mounting the pressure on Bengaluru Bulls with some terrific Raids, reaching the milestone of 200 Raid touch-points in the process. Naveen's dismissal of Bull's Ashish Sangwan followed by Ravindra Pahal's Tackle on Bulls' talisman Pawan Sehrawat cut down Bulls' lead to a single point at 25-26. The hosts subsequently inflicted an All-Out on the defending champions after Naveen Kumar ousted last man, Vijay Kumar, going into a 2-point lead at 28-26.
It turned out to be a closely-fought Raiding contest between the two sides as Pawan Sehrawat's effective raids kept troubling the hosts' defense and on the other hand, Naveen Kumar's breathtaking raids helped his side to stage a brilliant comeback
Bengaluru Bulls gave no quarter to the hosts as Pawan Sehrawat registered a crucial, 2-point raid dismissing Dabang Delhi K.C.'s captain Joginder Narwal and Vishal Mane, fighting back to level terms at 31-31, with only a minute left on the clock. Naveen Kumar struck yet again, dismissing Amit Sheoran and Ravindra Pahal brought down Pawan Sehrawat, in the final minute of the match completing a comeback and winning the game 33-31, much to the home crowd's delight.
Match Preview: Dabang Delhi K.C. aiming a winning start to the home leg against Bengaluru Bulls
The Delhi leg will begin with a clash between the Home side, Dabang Delhi K.C. and defending champions, Bengaluru Bulls at the Thyagaraj Sports Complex in Delhi on Saturday. With a single defeat in this season so far, the Home side is in fine form enroute to the Playoffs. Meanwhile, Bengaluru Bulls will be looking to bounce back with a win after their loss against Puneri Paltan.
Dabang Delhi's Naveen Kumar has been the side's most lethal Raider so far in this season, racking up most number of Super 10s (6). Chandran Ranjit being the secondary Raider has complemented the side's offense very well, Raiding in tandem with Naveen. Defensively, the Home side looks well-equipped for the match with captain Joginder Narwal leading the likes of Ravindra Pahal, Vishal Mane, Saeid Ghaffari alongwith All Rounder Meraj Sheykh. The total amount of expertise and experience in this defensive unit can very well back the side's offense who have the highest rate of Successful Raids in PKL 7 so far (42%).
Bengaluru Bulls' dynamic Raiding duo of captain Rohit Kumar and Raid points centurion, Pawan Sehrawat will be required to be on their best performance given Dabang Delhi K.C.'s run of form this season. Main Defender, Mahendra Singh must get back to his early-season form and galavanise Bulls' defensive unit, also comprising of Amit Sheoran and Saurabh Nandal who have been in great from of late.
So far, in the past 5 encounters, the Delhi-outfit has got the better of Bulls, emerging victorious on 4 occasions. Going by the numbers, Dabang Delhi K.C. have attained an impressive Win percentage of 71.42% in PKL 7 so far, making them the favourites in this mouth-watering clash against defending champions Bengaluru Bulls.
Head to head: Dabang Delhi vs Bengaluru Bulls
Kaun Jeetega - Pawan Sehrawat vs Naveen Kumar | Bengaluru take on Delhi at home