IN A MATCH where they started off as the underdogs, Dabang Delhi K.C. gave it their all but were unable to upset two-time champions Patna Pirates as they lost 36-34 at the Thyagaraj Sports Complex on Tuesday. Captain Meraj Sheykh and defender Vishal almost got the home side over the line but in the end Pardeep Narwal proved too good for their defence, returning with 14 points to show for his effort. Jaideep led the Pirates defence and scored a High 5 of his own.
Pardeep started things off for the Pirates with a 4-point super raid in his first raid of the match. He was ably supported by Monu Goyat and the first Delhi All-Out came in just the 4th minute of the match with the home team reeling at 0-10. Sunil opened the scoring for Delhi with a swift dash on
Goyat, and that breathed some life into the defence. They soon had Patna down to two men at 13-6 but Vishal Mane and Jaideep super tackled Sheykh to avoid an All-out.
The All-Out finally came in the 16th minute as Delhi brought the difference down to 5 points. The teams matched each other blow-for-blow from there and entered half-time with Patna leading 18-13.
Pardeep reached his Super 10 early in the second half but it was Iranian duo of Sheykh and Abolfazl Maghsodlou which dominated and effected another Patna All-Out to gain a 24-23 lead for the first time in the match. Sheykh also contributed in defence and was involved in two consecutive super tackles to make sure the scores stayed level at 28-28 with 7 minutes on the clock.
Delhi’s Vishal soon reached his High 5 as the team from the national capital kept taking down the Patna raiders. The Delhi fight came to an end in the 39th minute though, as they fell to a second All-Out and conceded a 36-31 lead. Sheykh led a last-ditch effort but couldn’t get Delhi their first home win. They were eventually condemned to a fourth straight loss at home with a 36-34 scoreline.
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