Bengaluru Bulls and Dabang Delhi K.C. played out a highly-entertaining 36-36 tie in a Pro Kabaddi League Season 8 match here on Friday.
The match defined the spirit of the Rivalry Week with Delhi doing the seemingly impossible by making a comeback to tie the match.
Pawan Sehrawat’s Super 10 had catapulted the Bulls to a 10-point lead but Delhi showed their winning DNA by fighting their way back. Their young raider Naveen Kumar scored a Super 10 (13 points) while defenders Sandeep Narwal and Joginder Narwal scored 4 points each.
The match started at a breakneck speed with Bulls’ Pawan Sehrawat and Delhi’s Naveen Kumar dominating the raids. Both attackers seemed in the groove for a big night, but the defenders slowly started finding their feet as the game progressed. Delhi changed the right cover defender with the error-prone Jeeva Kumar being benched and all-rounder Sandeep Narwal being shifted to that position.
He was instrumental in keeping Pawan Sehrawat away from the mat as Delhi clinched their first all-out with seven minutes remaining. They opened a 5-point lead, but the Bulls’ defenders also got into the match after the all-out. A series of tackles reduced Delhi’s lead on the mat with raider Bharat also chipping in with valuable points. The first half ended 18-14 in favour of Delhi, but you could sense a shift in momentum towards the Bulls.
Bengaluru used that momentum to clinch an all-out in the 2nd minute after the restart. Pawan and a resolute defence helped the Bulls take the lead.
Bharat and GB More contributed to both defence and attack as they slowly started getting the better of Delhi. Naveen Kumar had very little impact in the early minutes of the second half as the Bulls inflicted another all-out in the 9th minute to open an eight-point lead. Pawan Sehrawat got yet another Super 10 as the Bulls suddenly looked favourites for the win.
Delhi’s seniors did not like how the team had conceded a big lead and started losing their temper on the mat. Manjeet Chhillar, Sandeep Narwal and Joginder Narwal could be seen engaged in heated discussions as Pawan Sehrawat found easy points for the Bulls. But Delhi showed why they are on top of the points table by staging a late comeback.
Naveen Kumar clinched his Super 10 as they secured an all-out in the dying minutes to make it a one-point game. Pawan Sehrawat thought his two-point raid in the final minute would have won the Bulls the match, but Naveen immediately scored a point for Delhi.
With 30 seconds remaining, Bengaluru had a one-point lead, but Manjeet Chhillar produced a stunning ankle hold to pin Pawan Sehrawat and earn Delhi a well-fought tie.