Hyderabad: In the opening match of the day, Dabang Delhi pulled off a remarkable comeback to defeat Jaipur Pink Panthers 30-26 at the Gachibowli Indoor Stadium on Saturday.
Delhi were trailing 9-16 at the half-time with the side being all out in the 12th minute. But Delhi's Iranian pair of Meraj Sheykh (seven points) and Abolfazl Maghsodlou (four points) and a stupendous defending from Nilesh Shinde (five points) Sunil (three) ensured that Jaipur were all out twice in the second half and conceded the match.
Jaipur, though they looked good at the beginning, Delhi kept a check on them trailing by 4-5 till the eighth minute. But two consecutive raids from Jasvir Singh eliminated four Delhi players — Nilesh Shinde, Bajirao Hodage, Anand Patil and Viraj Vishnu Landge — triggering an all out which gave the Rajasthan outfit an 11-4 lead.
After the all out, Delhi brought in substitute all-rounder Abolfazl Maghsodlou of Iran and his agility and strong physical presence improved Delhi even though fellow Iranian and captain Meraj Sheykh was still struggling. Maghsodlou also made an impact in defence.
In the 17th minute, raider K Selvamani's leg injury too affected Jaipur as one of their best talents, bought at Rs 73 lakh, was sidelined.
At half-time, Jaipur kept the seven-point advantage with the scoreboard at 16-9. But Delhi had already got the momentum with the late show.
With Jaipur ending the first half with only two men, Delhi didn't waste any time in forcing Jaipur's all out which put them three short Jaipur's tally of 16.
In the second half, Delhi captain Sheykh had regained his firepower and touch. He and his compatriot Maghsodlou and a collective strong defence pulled Delhi from a weak position to equalise at 18-18.
Sheykh eliminated rival star raider Jasvir with a touch point to ensure that Jaipur struggle with their raids.
Nilesh, Hodage (two points overall), Sunil and Viraj (two) tackled one player after another to force another all out for Jaipur, and the scoreboard at this juncture stood at 24-21 in favour of Delhi.
Later, a desperate Jaipur side, inspired by Pawan Kumar (seven raid points), did their best but they were not able to hold off Sheykh and his team from sealing this match in a remarkable fashion.
In the second match of the day, double defending champions Patna Pirates began the fifth edition of the Pro Kabaddi League (PKL) with a 35-29 victory over hosts Telugu Titans.
Captain and raider Pardeep Narwal led from the front for Patna as he contributed 15 raiding points, while fellow raider Maonu Goyat chipped in with eight points.
For the home camp, Rahul Chaudhari collected seven points, while Nilesh Salunke contributed six points. Defenders Bhardwaj and Vikas gave Telugu five points each.
But all of the four top performers for Telugu were outshone by Pardeep, on whom Patna rode to victory. Pardeep was the main difference between the teams from the start.
In the first-half, Telugu were looking to walk away with the game with a 10-7 lead following Goyat's failed raid and Salunke's successful raid that gave the hosts a good position in the 14th minute.
Pardeep, however, kept earning points as Patna refused to surrender for an all out. Patna Pirates tied the game at 12-12 in 19th minute with a super tackle. In the last minute of the first-half Patna forced another super tackle to lead 15-14.
Four minutes into the second-half, Telugu inflicted an all out in the 24th minute as they led 19-16.
Pardeep struggled in the second-half as they trailed 17-21 after 26 minutes. Goyat scored two points for Patna Pirates in the 28th minute as they trailed 20-21.
Salunke scored two points in the 31st minute as Telugu led 24-21. Patna managed to control Rahul, while Pardeep scored his eighth raid point as Patna reduced the deficit to just one point in the 34th minute.
Narwal scored three points with a brilliant super raid in the 35th minute to give Patna Pirates 27-25 lead.
In the following minute, Telugu were all out, conceding a lead of four points at 26-31 to Patna.
Rahul continued his struggle as Patna led 33-26 after 38 minutes. Salunke scored two points to give Telugu Titans a glimmer of hope as they trailed 28-33 in the 39th minute but it was already late.
"I couldn't give my best. I let the team down. I will correct my mistakes and come back strongly in the next match," Rahul said.
Updated Date: Jul 30, 2017 10:14 AM