In one of the most thrilling and exciting matches this season, Delhi Dabang managed to steal a win from a position of certain defeat against Jaipur Pink Panthers during the Bengaluru leg of Pro Kabaddi League.
The tone for this blistering contest was set right at the beginning when Deepak Niwas Hooda was tackled successfully in his very first raid. But this paled into comparison to what came next. Chandran Ranjit of Delhi pulled off a magnificent super raid to eliminate four players.
Suddenly, Jaipur were down to just two players on the mat. Then Naveen Kumar reduced them to just one with a successful raid. Even though Nitin Raval got one point back for Pink Panthers with a successful raid, it was only a temporary relief as Naveen reduced the team to one player again. However, Nitin would make a big mark before the end of the match.
The all-out was effected by Delhi in just the fourth minute and the score read 11-4. Jaipur started to recover some lost ground and they were lead by their captain Hooda in that as he scored a brace of points from a raid in the seventh minute.
When Naveen Kumar got tackled out in the tenth minute, the score stood at 16-10. But very soon, Delhi themselves were down to just three men and they held off two raids. Chandran Ranjit was given the task of reviving the Dabang team with his raids but he wasn't being as successful as earlier.
But in the 12th minute, Nitin again came into the game with a five-point raid where he eliminated the remaining three players of Delhi and got two more points for the all out. The score was now 16-15. Soon, this one-point lead of Delhi also disappeared as two successive tackles of Delhi raiders put Jaipur 17-16 ahead.
With just over two minutes to go, the score was 19-19. Then came a brilliant flying raid from Naveen where he leapt over defender Santhapanaselvam to score a raid point and, inadvertently, injured the latter. Delhi were in the lead again and ended the first half with a two-point lead and the score 21-19.
The great action continued into the second half as, in the very second minute of the half, Jaipur were down to just one player but then, the Pink Panthers made a very clever substitution by bringing in Sachin. This guy responded brilliantly to his responsibility by scoring three points in his raid. His team was revived now.
The match was now evenly poised and with the score at 24-23 in Jaipur's favour and both teams down to just four players. Even though the Dabang team drew level for a while, the lead of Pink Panthers came back and swelled to four points at 29-25. In the 12th minute of the second half, Delhi were reduced by their opponents, through successful tackling and raiding to just one player.
The all out was inflicted in the very next minute as Naveen failed to raid successfully. The score now was 35-29. Jaipur continued to press their advantage even though there was some resistance from Dabang.
With less than three minutes to go, the score was 41-34 and Delhi's raids were not working. It seemed done and dusted in the Jaipur-based team's favour. Then Vijay, Delhi's raider got a brace but Hooda got a brace of his own in the very next raid.
With less than two minutes remaining, the score was still favouring Jaipur at 43-27. Then Naveen quickly pulled off two successful raids to bring the deficit down to four. In the final minute, Naveen again went to raid and after tagging a player in the left corner ran towards the right and touched another player before running back to his own half.
Jaipur now had just a two point lead and what's worse, they had just two players remaining on the mat. One of them went to raid and Delhi's defenders used every bit of their power to tackle him and prevent him from crossing the line.
Suddenly, the game was within reach of Delhi as Jaipur didn't know what hit them. With one player remaining, an all-out was quickly inflicted and three points gave the Dabang team a two point lead as the score read 45-43 and only seven seconds remained in the match.
Delhi let Hooda, the raider, score one point in his next raid and then the star of the match Naveen went in to run down the clock and also score one point in the process. The game ended with the scoreline 46-44 and Delhi walked away with an incredible win. Naveen Kumar ended up with an incredible 16 points in an even more incredible match of the 2019 Pro Kabaddi League.