Bouncing back from a deficit of six points at the end of the first half and winning the match against Bengaluru Bulls on Wednesday was largely credited to Dabang Delhi K.C. captain Meraj Sheykh.
Delhi won 38-30 against the Bulls at the Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Indoor Stadium in Kolkata, turning the match around from a 12-18 scoreline with Sheykh leading from the front with a game-high 14 raid points, that included seven straight successful raids.
"Their captain Meraj Sheykh turned the match around," Bengaluru captain Rohit Kumar admitted. "He scored very well. We knew that if we could stop him, then we could win the match because he's the kind of a raider who doesn't stop. He keeps going on, whether it's a touch or not, no matter the lead. He's determined to get points for the team. Our defenders weren't able to do anything about it."
Delhi coach Dr. Ramesh Bhendigiri too credited the team's captain but also pointed out that the Iranian national was well supported by the rest of the side. Sheykh's compatriot Abolfazl Maghsodlou scored eight points, with six of his last eight raids ending successfully.
"Meraj is our main strength," said Bhendigiri, "Both the Iranians are raiding well. They are getting support from the defence which they need and our flow has been good of late. If we see the last two matches, the defence has performed well. If both the departments perform together, then there won't be any problem for us.
"If we see the recent games we have come back in the second half. Our raiders performed well and I give them full credit. The defence also performed well in the second half and because of that we won."
While Delhi's defence clicked, Bengaluru's didn't. Sheykh was tackled just once in his 21 raids while Maghsodlou too went down just once in his 12. "The defence was weak," Kumar said, "From the start the defence didn't perform the way they should have and this is the reason why Delhi came back in the game and won."