Dabang Delhi K.C. edge out Tamil Thalaivas in an edge-of-the-seat thriller
Everything came down to the very last raid of Match 9 at the Gachibowli Indoor Stadium in Hyderabad on Thursday. In the penultimate raid of the match, youngster Naveen Kumar had himself pinned down by the Tamil Thalaivas defense but not before causing Manjeet Chhillar to step out of the end line before making any point of contact with the raider. Arguably, he was the star of the match for Delhi wrapping up seven raid points along with a very crucial tackle point on Ajay Thakur.
To Follow full commentary raid by raid (Click here)
Tamil Thalaivas jolted to a 5-1 lead in the first half as captain Ajay 'Iceman' Thakur drew first blood, dismissing Vishal Mane with a touch point, while Rahul 'Showman' Chaudhari too picked up a touch point and the defense contributed with 3 tackle points to keep Meraj Sheykh down efficiently during Delhi's first Do or Die Raid.
DDelhi levelled up with their opposition at 5-5 soon after captain, Joginder Narwal and his men lodged a Super Tackle on Chaudhari.
Thalaivas dominated the initial few instances of the match and subsequently inflicted the first 'All Out' on Delhi in the 11th minute, when a well-timed Ran Singh-led tackle, by the Thalaivas defense, brought down Meraj Sheykh. Naveen put in the efforts to keep Delhi within touching distance of their opposition with 3 raid points to which Rahul Chaudhari responded with 3 raid points of his own. Further points from Ajay Thakur coupled along with a composed defensive showing saw the two teams head into the break with the score at 18-11.
Delhi began staging their comeback early in the second half as Meraj Sheykh put in a string of all-round displays, cutting the deficit to just 3 points. At 20-17, V Ajith Kumar saved his side from a potential All Out with a very crucial Toe Touch on Ravinder Pahal. With 7 minutes left on the clock, Ajay Thakur and his men recovered their 7-point lead over Delhi as Dabang just could not enforce the All-Out.
The match turned on its head with 3 minutes remaining however. Naveen Kumar registered a 3-point raid, dismissing Ajeet and had two other defenders going out of bounds. In the Thalaivas' subsequent raid, Vishal Mane blocked Thakur to finally enforce an 'All Out' on the Thalaivas. Delhi had the momentum and the run of play in their favour as a tireless Naveen Kumar scored both - a raid point and a crucial tackle point on Ajay Thakur to bring the scores level at 29-29.
"I can say with utmost confidence, that Naveen Kumar will be among the top raiders at the end of the season. That's all I want to say about his performance" - Krishan Kumar Hooda, Dabang Delhi K.C. Coach.
Also watch: How to do Hand touch by coach Jagadeesh Kumble.
With not more than 5 seconds remaining, Naveen Kumar came in for the most crucial Do or Die Raid of the match and Tamil Thalaivas brought him down but not before the Defender of the Match, Manjeet Chhillar had stepped out of the mat before the point of contact could be made with the raider. A point a piece went to Dabang Delhi (for Majeet stepping out) & the Thalaivas but following a review from the Thalaivas, it was found that Manjeet had subsequently participated in the tackle and the point to Tamil Thalaivas was revoked. The point went Dabang Delhi K.C.'s way as they edged out the brilliant Tamil Thalaivas, registering a late, dramatic win following a well-staged comeback in the second half.
Dabang Delhi today take on the Tamil Thalaivas. As Rahul Chaudhari and Ajay Thakur raid against The Hawk Ravinder Pahal and Joginder Singh Narwal.
The young Delhi raider Naveen and Chandran Ranjith face The Mighty Manjeet Chhillar, Mohit Chhillar and Ran Singh defending for the Thalaivas.
Both the teams have had a win apiece in their opening encounters
Head to Head: Dabang Delhi lead 2 - 0 against the Thalaivas
MATCH PREVIEW: Dabang Delhi vs Tamil Thalaivas
Rahul Chaudhari and Ajay Thakur had a good start in the Pro Kabaddi League Season 7 as Rahul got a Super 10 in his first match as a Thalaiva.
Yesterday, Naveen single handedly brought a win to Delhi as they defeated the Telugu Titans and Siddharth Desai
Here is the match preview video as Suhail Chandhok takes you through the Pre Match Analysis of this match