HYDERABAD, Dec 8: Naveen Kumar dished out a superb performance in the second half as Dabang Delhi sealed their play-off spot with a 46-46 tie against Bengal Warriors here on Thursday.
Needing a win or a tie to progress, Delhi saw the game go down to the wire, before strategically earning a tie on the final raid of the evening to knock Gujarat Giants out of the race at the Gachibowli Indoor Stadium.
The high-octane clash also saw two of the best raiders in the league this year facing each other, and in the early stages, the Bengal Warriors were the more dominant.
While Delhi were reliant on bonus points, the Warriors made each raid more valuable by getting touch points too. As a result, by the end of the first period they had inflicted two all outs on Delhi to go into the break leading 25-19.
Delhi stormed back in the second half, their defenders Dipak, Vishal and Amit Hooda suddenly not just aiding Naveen’s brilliant raiding but also dominating the mat and bringing Delhi back into the game.
They got back one all out in the final five minutes of the game to draw level at 38-38 and then, within minutes registered another all out to take a 43-40 lead, completing an incredible turnaround with two minutes left.
The Warriors weren’t done yet as Maninder stormed back with a super raid to take out Sandeep Dhull, Vishal and Dipak and make it an even game again.
With 15 seconds to go, Delhi led by just a single point. On the final raid of the evening, Maninder came back with just a single point to end the match in a tie. (PTI)