Dabang Delhi 29-35 Bengaluru Bulls; Kashiling Adake top scores in Eagles' defeat
The third season of the Pro Kabaddi League kicked off in scintillating fashion as the Rajiv Gandhi Indoor Stadium in Vizag saw some exciting action on the mat. After defending champions U Mumba defeated the Telugu Titans in the opening fixture, next to enthrall the crowd was star-studded Dabang Delhi against underdogs Bengaluru Bulls.
In a pulsating first few minutes, it was the Bulls who got off to a dream start as they opened up a 9-0 lead in just the first four minutes. The first raid by the Bengaluru side saw them pick up two points as Kashiling Adeke had a rush of blood to the head and blundered in defence.
After a successful tackle, the next raid saw another couple picked up by the Bulls, which soon turned to 9-0 after an all-out. Delhi looked to fight back and had a little bit of success too, as they made it 13-6, but some excellent raiding by the underdogs and some schoolboy errors by the Delhi side saw the gap widen even further.
Deepak Dahiya produced the moment of the half as he picked up a point off Delhi skipper Ravinder Pahal with a superb flying touch and made it 16-6 in his team’s favour. After sharing a point each, Delhi were down to three defenders when the Bulls raider pulled off a super raid to pick three points via touch and another two due to the all-out to open up a 15-point lead at 22-7.
The half ended at 25-9 in favour of last year’s runners-up as some expert raiding allowed them to open up such a huge gap at the break. The Delhi side, who were expected to coast to a victory, went into the breather in a complete state of shock.
The Bulls scored the first point of the second half to make it 26-9, but a spirited display by the Delhi team saw the margin reduce significantly. A seven-point streak by Dabang Delhi saw the score come down to 26-16 and the deficit stood at just ten points with 12 minutes to go in the match.
The Bengaluru team were running out of men to field and a tackle by Delhi brought about their first all out. The score was now 28-19 and the next few minutes were evenly matched as both teams added to their tallies.
The difference never went below eight points and the Bulls looked to cruise to a comfortable win. But, in the last minute with the score at 35-26, Kashiling went into the last raid and picked up two points, which meant that the final score was 35-29. This meant that last season’s top scoring raider finished the game with 9 points, the highest in the match.
Delhi salvaged a point in their opening game as the margin of defeat was less than eight points. A great start for the Bulls, while the team from the capital will look to start afresh in their next encounter.