Pro Kabaddi League 2018: 'We committed a lot of mistakes in defence,' admits Bengal Warriors’ Ran Singh

Meraj Sheykh was the star of the show for Delhi
Meraj Sheykh was the star of the show for Delhi

The Bengal Warriors had started their home leg at the Netaji Indoor Stadium in Kolkata in the best possible manner. They won their first two matches with their second win being their most memorable one so far.

On a night when their attack and defence worked beautifully in tandem, they crushed the three-time defending champions Patna Pirates 39-23. That win not only helped them secure a much-coveted berth in the playoffs but also boosted their confidence by miles. The Bengal coach Jagdish Kumble even went on to say that they were targeting the No. 1 position in Zone B.

However, Dabang Delhi KC burst their bubble in a hard-fought encounter on the third day of the Kolkata leg.

With two minutes to go and the crowd waiting with bated breath, the two teams were tied at 31-31. It was Delhi’s Meraj Sheykh’s stupendous five-point raid that brought misery for the home team and gifted a 37-31 win for the visitors, ending the winning streak of the Warriors at this venue.

Bengal’s star defender Ran Singh did not mince his words when asked to analyse what went wrong for them. On the previous two nights, he had heaped praise on the defence unit of his team but this time he indeed looked disappointed. Conceding those vital five points in the end was what brought about their downfall, he calmly admitted.

“We committed a lot of mistakes in defence. The two self-outs that went against us played a major role in shifting the momentum of the match. In the end, if we had conceded only one point on Meraj Sheykh’s final raid, we could have still stood a chance to win this match. But those five points cost us the match.”

Coach Kumble was more forthcoming in his explanation. However, he too pointed out that stepping out of the playing area and inflicting self-outs gave their opponents an upper hand.

“It all changed when Naveen Kumar got a bonus and two of our players stepped out of the playing area. If we had not conceded those vital two points, we would have had the edge heading into the interval."

Even though Bengal did manage to cover up that lapse and did a fine job of tying the score, their strategy did not work the way they would have wanted it to. They attempted a Super Tackle to get a bunch of points before the final whistle went off and they made crucial mistakes in their haste.

“We conceded an All-Out in the final minute and it cost us dearly. We were looking for a Super Tackle just like we did in their previous raid. However, this time Bhupender Singh wasn’t able to get enough contact and Meraj Sheykh successfully walked away with five points for Delhi,” the coach rued.

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Edited by Arvind Sriram
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