Pro Kabaddi League 2017 Season 5: Five talking points from Day 51 of PKL 5
One absolute nail-biter, one total annihilation - today was a day of contrasts in the Pro Kabaddi League in Delhi. The home side suffered yet another defeat as they were soundly beaten by the Haryana Steelers 42-24.
Earlier in the night, the Tamil Thalaivas picked up their third win of the season, beating the Bengal Warriors in an encounter that went right down to the wire.
Here's what stood out on night 51.
#1 Thalaivas put on a defensive darshan
Almost all of the new teams this season have shown great defensive strength, often overshadowing their raiding potency. The Thalaivas have been no different and today really put on a show in that department.
The Bengal Warriors have a fearsome raiding trio in Maninder Singh, Deepak Narwal and Jang Kun Lee. Yet, the Thalaivas' defence managed to keep them quiet through a combination of early blocks and surprise tackles. Taking advantage of the fact that Bengal's raiders stayed away from Amit Hooda on the right corner, the other defenders in the side threw caution to the wind and were aggressive from the get-go.
The cover positions especially were brilliant on the night. Darshan was superb in effecting the frontal block and the dash either as a primary or secondary tackler. C. Arun was special - he finished with 8 tackle points on the night and was the best defender. Crucially, that haul included three massive Super Tackles that helped his side keep the Warriors at arm's length for much of the night. He was the joint top-scorer in the match for the Thalaivas along with his captain Ajay Thakur.
The Thalaivas finished with more tackle points than raid points - 15 as compared to 14 - almost double what their opponents managed on the night. A fantastic, cohesive defensive showing it was from the Thalaivas.