In a nail-biting encounter, Dabang Delhi K.C. beat Tamil Thalaivas 30-29 as the match was decided by an uncharacteristic error made by Manjeet Chhillar in the dying seconds of the match. Young Naveen Kumar stole the show in a match that was packed with exciting moments and unforced errors.
Tamil Thalaivas’ curse against Dabang Delhi K.C. continues as they’ve now never beaten them in the VIVO Pro Kabaddi League. Both sides came into the match after winning their opening encounters, but it was Dabang Delhi K.C. who held their nerve to emerge victorious. Manjeet Chhillar attained a High 5 for Thalaivas while Rahul “The Showman” Chaudhari scored 7 raid points. Despite the defeat, the Thalaivas look like a formidable unit with a strong defence and raiders who can win the match on their own. By pairing Rahul “The Showman” Chaudhari with Ajay “Iceman” Thakur, Tamil Thalaivas have increased the potency of their attack.
Having ‘Iceman’ Thakur by his side gave “The Showman” Chaudhari a new-found freedom as he got a raid point to give Tamil Thalaivas 3-1 lead in the second minute. Dabang Delhi K.C. have two of the top defenders in the form of Ravinder Pahal and Joginder Narwal in their ranks and they forced a super tackle in the sixth minute to level the match at 5-5. Ajay “IceMan” Thakur scored two quick raid points to give the Thalaivas 8-5 lead in the 9th minute and they followed it up by inflicting an all out. The strength and depth of talent in VIVO Pro Kabaddi League was on display as two of the best raiders and three of the top defenders locked horns. 19-year-old Naveen Kumar who has made a bright start to the season and is one of the emerging stars of VIVO Pro Kabaddi League scoring a two-point raid in the 15th minute as Dabang Delhi K.C. battled back to trail 10-16. At the end of the first half, Tamil Thalaivas led 18-11.
Naveen spent almost 14 minutes off the court in the first 25 minutes and his absence was felt by the Dabang Delhi K.C. team. Meraj Sheykh scored with a two-point raid in the 22nd minute as Dabang Delhi K.C. trailed 15-19. One of Delhi’s finest defenders Ravinder Pahal made a few uncharacteristic errors on which the Thalaivas pounced. Dabang Delhi K.C. had several opportunities to inflict an all out on the Thalaivas but they kept squandering them. Manjeet Chhillar put in a strong tackle on young Naveen Kumar in the 32nd minute as Tamil Thalaivas led 26-19. With just under seven minutes to go, Tamil Thalaivas led 27-19 and had their two star raiders Rahul “The Showman” Chaudhri and Ajay “IceMan” Thakur on the mat.
The debutante from Iran Saeid Ghaffari scored his first tackle point as he sent Rahul Chaudhri to the bench in the 34th minute. Manjeet Chhillar continued his hot streak in VIVO Pro Kabaddi League Season 7 as he picked a back-to-back high five. Young Naveen Kumar turned the match on its head and his one raid led to three points for Dabang Delhi K.C . He forced two Thalaivas defenders off the court and got a touch point in the 37th minute. Dabang Delhi K.C. inflicted an all out to trail by just one point with less than three minutes to go.
In the last minute, if the Thalaivas hadn’t asked for a review then the match would’ve ended in a tie. Tamil Thalaivas will play their home leg from August 17 in Chennai whereas Dabang Delhi start their home leg on August 24 in New Delhi.