A magical 14-point performance from Naveen Kumar helped Dabang Delhi beat the Bengaluru Bulls 40-35 and book their berth in the VIVO Pro Kabaddi Season 8 final.
The Bulls got off to a fast start and took a 3-0 lead, but a 4-1 run from Delhi saw them level the scores. Sandeep Narwal’s strong Ankle Hold on Bharat and Naveen’s touch point on GB More left the Bulls with only Pawan Sehrawat on the mat.
The skipper picked up a bonus and a touch point to keep the All Out at bay, but Naveen responded with another touch point to keep the Bulls pegged on the back foot. Jeeva Kumar picked his spot and Dashed Sehrawat out of bounds to help Delhi inflict an All Out and take a 10-7 lead.
However, the Bulls’ defence and Sehrawat responded to the setback with a 3-0 run to level the scores. Both teams matched each other blow-for-blow over the next five minutes before the Bulls’ defence picked up the final point of the half to go into the break leading 17-16.
The Bulls’ first point of the second half reduced Delhi to just three players on the mat. But they managed to use it to their advantage as the defence Super Tackled Sehrawat, before Neeraj Narwal, Manjeet Chhillar and Naveen added three unanswered points to their team's total, as Delhi took a four-point lead.
The Bulls’ defence responded with a Super Tackle of their own and Sehrawat cut the deficit to one with another raid point. But Neeraj flipped the script of the contest with a Super Raid that left Bengaluru with just two players on the mat.
Naveen’s touch point reduced the Bulls to only Abolfazel Maghsoudlo on court. The all-rounder was afforded nothing more than a bonus before being pinned down by Delhi’s defence, as Bengaluru conceded another All Out.
Naveen then delivered a key Super Raid that extended Delhi’s lead to nine, but two quick bonus points from Bharat kept Bengaluru in the contest. A self-out from Neeraj and two quick raid points from Sehrawat reduced the Bulls’ deficit to four with just over a minute left in the game.
But three raid points in two attempts from Naveen ended Bengaluru’s hopes of a comeback. Sehwarat picked up a consolation point in the game’s final raid, but it was Delhi who advanced to the final.
Best Raider – Naveen Kumar (14 Raid Points)
Best Defender – Sandeep Narwal (3 Tackle Points)
Best Raider – Pawan Sehrawat (18 Raid Points)
Best Defender – Saurabh Nandal (4 Tackle Points)