In a nail-biting encounter, Dabang Delhi edged out Telugu Titans 34-33 to begin their VIVO Pro Kabaddi Season 7 with a victory. Naveen Kumar played a stellar role and scored 14 raid points whereas Joginder Narwal and Ravinder Pahal were solid in defence for Dabang Delhi.
The story of the match, however, was debutant Suraj Desai who scored 18 raid points in his first ever VIVO Pro Kabaddi League match. Suraj is the older brother of Siddharth Desai and the “baahubali” brothers put on a thrilling show, scoring 26 points together. The “baahubali” brothers’ effort went in vain as Titans despite putting up a strong fight lost in the end.
Siddharth Desai scored 8 raid points for Telugu Titans. In a see-saw of an encounter, both teams had a shot at a win, but it was Dabang Delhi who prevailed in the end with 1 point. Suraj Desai was quick off the blocks for Telugu Titans as he made a two-point raid in the first minute of the match. Meraj Sheykh opened Dabang Delhi’s account with a raid in the second minute. It was a closely- fought affair between the two teams as they were level at 4-4 after the first five minutes. Siddharth “baahubali” Desai was sent to the bench in the sixth minute after a strong tackle by Ravinder Pahal. Suraj Desai made another two-point raid in the 7th minute to level the match at 6-6. Siddharth Desai scored two quick raid points to give Telugu Titans 9-7 lead in the 11th minute. In the 16th minute, Telugu Titans forced a super tackle to level the match at 11- 11 after Dabang Delhi had taken a slender lead. At the end of the first half, Dabang Delhi led 13-12. Naveen Kumar picked up regular raid points for Dabang Delhi in the first half.
Telugu Titans began the second half with a bang as they forced a super tackle in the 21st minute. Siddharth “baahubali” Desai made a two-point raid in the 23rd minute as Telugu Titans led 17-15. Suraj Desai followed it up a two-point raid of his own in the next minute. Navin Kumar achieved a super 10 in the 25th minute as Dabang Delhi trailed 18-20. Dabang Delhi inflicted the first all out the match in the 26th minute to level the match at 21-21. Suraj Desai produced a terrific super raid in the 31st minute to give Telugu Titans 28-26 lead. Dabang Delhi reacted strongly and in the next couple of minutes scored six straight points to lead 32-26.
Telugu Titans led by Suraj Desai came back and scored four points to trail 30-32 in the 36th minute. It was anyone’s match in the last three minutes but Dabang Delhi kept their nerve and cool to emerged victorious. Dabang Delhi showed immense mental strength as they came back couple of times after falling behind to nick a win.
Dabang Delhi will play their home leg starting August 24 in New Delhi.