Dabang Delhi K.C. fought off a strong second-half show by Tamil Thalaivas’ captain Ajay Thakur to win their final home game 37-33 at the Thyagaraj Indoor Stadium in Delhi on Thursday. Thakur scored 14 raid points on the night but a combined effort by Meraj Sheykh and Vishal Mane took the home team to victory.
Much like the rest of their home leg matches, Dabang Delhi K.C. started the contest in an aggressive fashion, with their defence and raiders both performing well. Meraj Sheykh led the offence in this period as the only point Tamil Thalaivas managed in the first six minutes was through Chandran Ranjit’s self out where he stepped into the lobby without a touch. This helped the home team open up a 5-1 lead in the contest.
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Reduced to three men on the mat, Tamil Thalaivas kept the scoreboard ticking through bonus points but weren’t able to avoid the All-Out as Sheykh reduced them to a solitary player on the mat before a Block by Vishal Mane gave the home side a 10-4 lead in the 10th minute.
Sukesh Hegde and Ajay Thakur then took on the responsibility of bringing Tamil Thalaivas back into the contest and were helped by the defence which put in a strong effort to hold down Sheykh, reducing the deficit to four points. However, a successful raid by Naveen Kumar brought momentum back on Dabang Delhi K.C.’s side and Mane’s tackle to send Thakur to the bench helped then take a 5-point lead, going into halftime with the scores favouring them 16-11.
The second half saw Dabang Delhi K.C. increase their lead to six points by sending Thakur to the bench once again. Sheykh’s three successive successful raids followed by an Athul MS self out helped Dabang Delhi K.C. inflict another All-Out on Tamil Thalaivas in the 8th minute to gain a sizeable 10-point lead at 27-17.
Dabang Delhi K.C. picked up the next three points in the contest before a combined effort by Ponparthiban Subramanian and Anil Kumar put Tamil Thalaivas on the board. Thakur’s 2-point raid then brought Dabang Delhi K.C. down to three men on the mat before the Tamil Thalaivas captain helped his side inflict an All-Out and claw back into the game at 33-26. Tamil Thalaivas then rode that momentum to pick up the next three points of the contest. Thakur was spectacular in this phase as he continued scoring freely, reaching his Super 10 in the process and reducing Dabang Delhi K.C. to four men on the mat.
Visit the matchcentre to relive the contest here.
With a little more than a minute left on the clock, the score difference was down to four points when Dabang Delhi K.C. finally managed to send Thakur to the bench and pick up a Super Tackle in the process. That tackle sealed the match in their favour as they ran down the clock to win by a 4-point margin and become the only team so far to win five matches of their home leg.
Top Performers –
Dabang Delhi K.C.
Best Raider: Meraj Sheykh (9 raid points)
Best Defender: Vishal Mane (5 tackle points)
Best Raider: Ajay Thakur (14 raid points)
Best Defender: Manjeet Chhillar (2 tackle points)