Hyderabad, Dec 8 (IANS): Dabang Delhi KC, led by Naveen Kumar's brilliance put in a superb second half performance to earn a 46-46 tie against Bengal Warriors that earned them qualification for the playoffs.
Needing a win or a tie, Delhi saw the game go down to the wire, before strategically earning a tie on the final raid of the evening to knock the Gujarat Giants out of the race at the Gachibowli Indoor Stadium.
The high-octane clash also saw two of the best raiders in the league this year, facing up, and in the early stages, the Bengal Warriors were the more dominant. While Dabang Delhi KC were reliant on bonus points, the Bengal Warriors made each raid more valuable by getting touch points too. As a result, by the end of the first period they had inflicted two ALL OUTS on Dabang Delhi KC, to go into the break leading 25-19.
Dabang Delhi KC stormed back in the second half, their defenders Dipak, Vishal and Amit Hooda suddenly not just aiding Naveen's brilliant raiding but also dominating the mat and bringing Dabang Delhi KC back into the game.
They got back one ALL OUT in the final five minutes of the game to draw level at 38-38 and then, within minutes had registered another ALL OUT to take a 43-40 lead, completing an incredible turnaround with two minutes left. And yet, the Bengal Warriors weren't done, Maninder storming back with a SUPER RAID to take out Sandeep Dhull, Vishal and Dipak to make it an even game again.
The final thirty seconds were a frenzy, the pressure of play off qualification on the line for Dabang Delhi KC and points traded at both ends of the mat. With 15 seconds to go, Dabang Delhi Delhi KC led by just a single point, a win and a tie enough to push them through the line. On the final raid of the evening, Maninder came back with just the single point to end the match in a tie.