An incredible back-and-forth tussle that went down to the buzzer raid finished with Dabang Delhi K.C. and Bengaluru Bulls playing out a 39-39 tie at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur on Monday. Naveen Kumar and ‘Hi-Flyer’ Pawan Kumar Sehrawat starred on the night, scoring 14 and 15 raid points respectively.
Bengaluru Bulls were the better side in the opening exchanges and raced to a 7-3 lead owing to some stellar work on both sides of the mat from Sehrawat. However, three points in two raids from Naveen, split by Ravinder Pahal’s brilliant tackle on Sehrawat levelled the scores at 7-7. Both teams added four points each to their score over the next six minutes as the game remained evenly poised at 11-11.
Vishal Mane’s powerful tackle on Mohit Sehrawat followed by a two-point raid from Naveen not only helped Dabang Delhi K.C. take a three-point but also reduced Bengaluru Bulls down to a sole man on the mat. Raiders Ajay and Ankit, however, scored five points in two raids and helped their team level the scores.
Dabang Delhi K.C. weren’t to be denied though, as Naveen’s two-point raid, followed by Anil Kumar’s tackle on Sumit Singh, helped them inflict the game’s first All Out to take a 21-17 lead. Bengaluru Bulls outscored the league leaders 2-1 in the final two minutes of the half to go into the break trailing by 3.
A third two-point raid by Naveen, followed by Joginder Narwal’s tackle on Sehrawat, opened the gates for Dabang Delhi K.C. to enforce another All Out. Despite some resistance from their defence, Bengaluru Bulls eventually succumbed to a second All Out and trailed 33-23 eight minutes into the half. However, two quick successful raids from Sehrawat gave Bengaluru Bulls some much-needed momentum midway through the half.
With the wind in his sail, the reigning MVP cashed in and scored three touch points in his two subsequent raids, reducing Dabang Delhi K.C. down to a solitary man on the mat. A self-out from Chandran Ranjit enforced the All Out, as Bengaluru Bulls cut the deficit to just two points. Two more raid points from Sehrawat and a tackle point from Amit Sheoran meant that Bengaluru Bulls took the lead for the first time since the 12th minute of the first half.
With their team trailing, Dabang Delhi K.C.’s veteran Corner duo of Pahal and Joginder came to the fore, scoring a tackle point each, to help them take a two-point lead. Naveen’s 14th raid point of the night then put the league-leaders up by three. However, Banty and Sehrawat responded with a raid point each to cut the deficit to just 1 with time left for another raid.
Bengaluru Bulls’ defence deployed themselves at the baulk line, and once Naveen attempted to get his foot across, Amit Sheoran and Banty pounced on him with support coming in from the other side, successfully pinning him down to earn three points from the game for their side.
Dabang Delhi K.C.
Top Raider – Naveen Kumar (14 Raid Points)
Top Defender – Anil Kumar (4 Tackle Points)
Top Raider – Pawan Sehrawat (15 Raid Points)
Top Defender – Amit Sheoran (6 Tackle Points)