Jaipur, Sept. 22: Bengaluru Bulls and Dabang Delhi drew 39-39 in a closely fought VIVO Pro Kabaddi League (PKL) match at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur on Monday.
Delhi were in the lead for most parts of the match but a late comeback by the Bulls courtesy Pawan Sehrawat saw both sides settle for a tie from the encounter. Delhi's Naveen Kumar finished the match with 14 raid points (his 15th consecutive Super 10) but will the rue missing out on a chance to put in a legal raid in the final move of the match to clinch a win for the Delhi, who still remain on top of the table.
Delhi's match against the Bulls had been billed as the clash of the league's best raiders in Naveen Kumar and Pawan Sehrawat but the early minutes proved why both of these raiders where just a significant part of a larger unit in a team sport.
The defences of both teams looked ready for the challenge as both traded blows in the initial minutes. But a slightly more balanced Delhi unit allowed Naveen Kumar more time on the mat with quick revivals and the 19-year-old secured 8 raid points to clinch an All-Out in the last minute of the half to give the Delhi side a four-point lead.
Rohit Kumar's absence due to an injury played a key role in Bulls' relatively poor showing in the raids even though the team benefited heavily when three Delhi defenders were adjudged out of bounds with under 3 minutes to half time. The first half ended 22-20 with Delhi on top.
Naveen continued his good work in the early minutes of the second half. The 19-year-old raider secured his Super 10 as Delhi inflicted another All-Out on the Bulls in the 9th minute of the second half to move to a 10-point lead. But the All-Out brought about the revival of Pawan Sehrawat on the mat.
Bengaluru's standby captain upped his game and quickly secured an All-Out for the defending champions with under 7 minutes left to make it a two-point game. Both Naveen Kumar and Pawan Sehrawat were sent to the bench with under three minutes left in the match with the scores tied at 36-36.
But Delhi sniffed a victory after a tackle and raid point had given them a two-point cushion going into the last minute. But a careless tackle by Vishal Mane, followed by Naveen's failure to cross the white to complete a legal raid, helped Bulls clinch an unlikely tie from the encounter.
Source: Press Release