Dabang Delhi K.C.’s Vijay produced last-minute heroics to help them beat Haryana Steelers 28-25 in match 55 of Pro Kabaddi League Season 8 at The Sheraton Grand, Whitefield, Bengaluru on Saturday, January 15.
Vijay scored 11 points for the Delhi team, but 5 of his total came in the last 2 raids that helped the Season 7 finalists escape with a win. Dabang lost Naveen Kumar to an injury in the second half but showed enough composure to stifle the Haryana raiders and win the first match of Triple Panga night.
The first half was a low scoring affair despite the plethora of talented raiders on the mat. Naveen Kumar was sent to the dugout 4 times (in 8 raids) by the Haryana defence marshalled by the experienced Surender Nada and young Jaideep. Naveen could only score three points in a low-scoring half and was outscored by his teammate Vijay.
Haryana raiders struggled too which resulted in a lot of Do-or-Die situations for both sides. The defenders owned the first half which ended with the scores level at 11-11.
The first ten minutes of the second half was a repeat with both sides taking an overly cautious approach. Naveen Kumar was at the receiving end of a tough tackle in the 4th minute after the restart which forced him. The defence kept matching each other with tackles as the raiders struggled to make a significant impact. There was just one point separating the two at the first Time Out with the match desperately missing a Super Raid.
Two 2-point raids followed the Time Out as the teams matched each other. There was nothing to separate the sides as the likes of Vikash Kandola and Vinay struggled. With five minutes remaining the scores were tied at 21-21 and it seemed very likely a mistake would decide the fate of the match. Sandeep Narwal produced a thigh-hold to send Vikash Kandola to the dugout with 2 minutes remaining. Delhi’s Vijay then produced a 2-point raid in the final minute and then followed it with a 3-point Super Raid to take the game completely away from the Steelers. Haryana could not find a way back from it as they succumbed to a 3-point defeat.
Featured photo: Pro Kabaddi