Bengaluru, Jan 18 (IANS): Dabang Delhi K.C. defeated Patna Pirates 32-29 in the Pro Kabaddi League Season 8 at The Sheraton Grand, Whitefield, here on Tuesday. Manjeet Chhillar, the defender with the most tackle points in PKL history, produced a last-raid tackle to clinch the thriller for Delhi, who were once again without the services of their star raider Naveen Kumar.
Vijay aided with nine points while Sandeep Narwal, playing the role of an all-rounder, clinched eight points in a win that helped Delhi move to the top of the points table. Pirates lacked the usual sharpness in their defence which ultimately cost them the match.
Pirates dominated the early minutes of the match, but Delhi made a comeback through their raider Vijay. He got valuable points off a surprisingly unstable Pirates defence to give Delhi the momentum to clinch an all-out in the 10th minute to open a four-point lead. Sandeep Narwal and Manjeet Chhillar used all their experience to good effect on the mat as Delhi's defence thwarted the Pirates.
Pirates' cover defender Sajin C suffered a knee injury and had to be replaced which clearly affected their team's chemistry. Sandeep Narwal donned the role of a perfect all-rounder in the first half by also fetching raids points for Delhi. At the interval, Delhi had a nine-point lead with scores of 19-10.
Pirates showed why experts had called them early season favourites to a playoff spot by clawing their way back into the match. The first 10 minutes after the restart belonged completely to Pirates as Sachin and Guman Singh exploited the errors in Delhi defence.
The lack of a lethal raider affected Delhi's attack and they finally succumbed to an ALL in the 10th minute. Pirates had managed to reduce the lead to just one point and were clearly the team with momentum.
But Delhi were in no mood to let this slip. Sandeep Narwal's 2-point raid opened the lead to 3 points as both teams traded blows. Mohammadreza Shadloui then clawed one back for Pirates with a stunning ankle hold on Ashu Malik.
Vijay then produced a three-point Super Raid with three minutes remaining to give Delhi a four-point lead. Pirates needed two points in their last raid, but Manjeet Chhillar brought out a brilliant diving tackle to help Delhi win the match.