Dabang Delhi K.C. were completely stifled by Puneri Paltan on Friday as they succumbed to a 26-21 loss at the Mankapur Indoor Stadium in Nagpur. Delhi defender Nilesh Shinde knew exactly where the game slipped away from them, and he shared his thoughts with the media at the post-match press conference. “Our team’s Anand Patil was able to match both Deepak Hooda and Rajesh Mondal while raiding but it was our defence that let us down today,” said the corner defender.

“Me and Bajirao Hodage were not able to provide able support to the raiders and ended up conceding points to Mondal where we shouldn’t have. We did not make them fight hard for their points and that made the difference,” he added.

Despite that harsh assessment of his own performance, Shinde pulled off one of the most remarkable dashes in VIVO Pro Kabaddi history during the match when he took out an unsuspecting Sandeep Narwal from the right in front of the half way line. However, for Shinde it was just another day at the office. “If raiders make mistakes, defenders capitalise and vice versa,” he said.

In the other match of the day, Bengaluru Bulls’ early charge ran out of steam in the second half but they still managed to hold off debutants Tamil Thalaivas to win with a 32-31 scoreline. Winning coach Randhir Singh coach wasn’t too bothered about his team’s performance in the second half that almost took the game away from them. “This is kabaddi. The game can change at any time here,” he said, “None of the teams are here to succumb easily in a one-sided affair. In earlier games, we have seen similar deficits of more than 10 points being overcome easily. That’s the beauty of this game.”

Meanwhile, Bulls captain Rohit Kumar chalked the second-half show up to complacency after a massive half-time lead. “I think our defenders got a little complacent because of the big lead,” said Rohit, “Our plan was to go hard at them in the first half and then bide our time in the second but the game almost slipped out of our control towards the end.”

Singh also praised their opponents on the night, Tamil Thalaivas, in unequivocal terms. “Tamil Thalaivas played like a team which had nothing to lose in the second half and came at us with aggression,” he said. “Had the points gap not been so vast they would probably not have gone for all the tackles that they did. But now we have learned our lesson and will hopefully not make the same mistakes again,” he concluded.