Pro Kabaddi: Bengaluru Bulls dominant at home against Dabang Delhi
Bengaluru Bulls retained the 3rd spot in the table with a dominant 40-21 win at home against Dabang Delhi. After 2 losses in their opening two matches at home, the Bulls returned to winning ways in style as they staked a solid claim for the semi-final places. With this loss, the path to the semis for the Dabangs got even tougher as they ended the Bengaluru leg with a loss.
The visitors won the first points of the match when they got the home team’s star raider Ajay Thakur out in the 3rd minute. However, it was all Bulls from there as Manjeet Chhillar and Ajay showed their quality and got the home team to a 6-1 lead after 8 minutes.
Dharmaraj Cheralathan reduced the Dabangs to just 1 player – Selvamani K, who was tackled by the sharp Bengaluru defence to inflict an all out on the visitors to take the lead, 10-2 in the 10th minute. After a couple of minutes where both teams exchanged points, the game burst into life in the 15th minute.
Buoyed by a brilliant defence led by Joginder Narwal and Cheralathan, the Bulls did not let many points slip through their grasp in defence, while consistently winning raid points. Ajay Thakur won 2 points from his raid as the visitors were on the verge of another all out with a minute to go in the half. The Bulls defenders showed their strength again by tackling the agile Selvamani K as they led 21-7.
Third time lucky for Bengaluru Bulls
The half-time buzzer went soon after with the scoreline reading 21-8 in Bengaluru Bulls’ favour. In the absence of coach Honnappa C Gowda, the Dabangs looked a little out of sorts in this crunch tie which could have a major say in deciding the playoff spots.
Kashiling Adake was caught in the very first raid of the second half and the home team won 2 more points to extend their lead to 16 points. Rajesh Mondal was sent in to raid by the Bulls and the experienced campaigner did not disappoint by gathering 3 points in 2 raids for the home team. However, Rajesh was tackled in the 30th minute with the home team leading 27-13.
Ravinder Pahal was a shadow of his former self in this match as the Dabangs failed to reduce the home team’s lead for the rest of the match. The Dabang defence was having an off day and Dharmaraj Cheralathan made the most of it, getting 3 consecutive points for the home team as they led 35-17 with 3 minutes left in the match.
Kashiling Adake got a couple of points for the visitors, but the home team held on to complete a dominant 40-21 win over Dabang Delhi. Dharmaraj Cheralathan put up a spectacular all-round performance with 4 raid and as many tackle points, while Ajay Thakur amassed 7 points in front of a vociferous home crowd.
Bengaluru Bulls move ahead of Jaipur Pink Panthers with this win as Dabang Delhi languish at 6th spot. The Bulls will face off against Telugu Titans in a blockbuster tie tomorrow in the final match of the Bengaluru leg.
Man of the match: Dharmaraj Cheralathan