Dabang Delhi K.C. brought an end to their nine-match losing run with a 35-34 win over Jaipur Pink Panthers at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur on Tuesday. Jaipur began the match well and looked to be on course for a win but a late-show by Delhi handed the hosts another loss in front of their home crowd.
Delhi coach Dr. Ramesh Bhendigiri credited the proper execution of strategy as well as lauded captain Meraj Sheykh (7 points) and R. Sriram (7 points) after the win. “We gave young players the opportunity to play today and our strategy was to focus on their main raider Pawan Kumar but there were mistakes from the left corner and then Nitin Rawal got a raid of five points which gave them the lead. After that R. Sriram covered it very well for us and Meraj also had a good flow in raid today which is why we won today. The strategies which we made were successful today,” he told reporters at the post-match press conference.
Meanwhile, Tamil Thalaivas ended U Mumba’s hopes of a Playoffs spot with a 38-35 win earlier in the evening. Mumbai seemed to be on their way to a win but heroics from Ajay Thakur late on gave Chennai the win. Commenting on the victory, Thakur, who scored a total of 16 points, said: “Our coach [K Baskaran] told me that whenever there is a pressure situation raid, I should go because we have young players in the team and they don’t have the experience when it comes to finding themselves in pressure situations.”
U Mumba coach Bhaskaran Edacherry, however, was pleased with the overall display of his team having fielded a relatively inexperienced unit missing the likes of Captain Cool Anup Kumar and Kashiling Adake. “The reason for the loss is the last raid. The scores were equal and we had to wait some time and then try for a tackle but instead of that we went for an advance tackle and gave away two points. Our main players were out but still the boys tried well and they performed more than what we expected and I am happy with the overall performance,” he said.