Naveen Kumar once again proved to be the big difference as Dabang Delhi K.C. narrowly beat Telugu Titans 36-35 in Match 35 of Pro Kabaddi League Season 8 at The Sheraton Grand, Whitefield, Bengaluru.
The first half saw Telugu Titans matching Dabang Delhi K.C. blow for blow. Naveen Kumar got off to a flying start, picking up points at will. But Titans raider Rajnish kept piling the pressure on Dabang defence that were showing signs of weaknesses.
The inability of Titans’ defenders to stop Naveen Kumar, who rushed to a Super 10, meant Delhi stayed in the game for the longest time. But Rajnish produced a stunning Super Raid (3 points + 2 for ALL OUT) to help Titans take a lead within six minutes prior to halftime.
Rajnish kept finding open corridors in the Delhi defence by easily faking directions. But Delhi captain Joginder Narwal identified the problem and encouraged cover defender Manjeet Chhillar to close the gaps. The scores were even at halftime (18-18), but most importantly Naveen was off the mat after Titans' Surinder Singh produced a Super Tackle on him.
Naveen didn’t stay off the mat for long though and he wreaked havoc in the Titans defence to get Delhi an ALL OUT in the fifth minute of the second half. But Surinder Singh once again tackled Naveen Kumar to allow Titans an opportunity to reduce Delhi’s lead. Rajnish scored his Super 10 and then produced three consecutive two-point raids to reduce Delhi to just one man on the mat.
Naveen Kumar kept finding errors in the Telugu defence to prevent an ALL OUT. With under five minutes remaining, Delhi had a 2-point lead and Rajnish produced arguably the best move of the match.
He dragged Jeevan Kumar and Deepak with brutal power to the half-line and gave Titans the ALL OUT they craved. With the scores level, Naveen once again proved his class by grabbing two points in a last-minute raid that the Titans could not overturn.
The result helped Delhi maintain their unbeaten run in Season 8 and regain the top spot on the points table.
Featured photo: Pro Kabaddi