Naveen Kumar dished out a superlative performance as Dabang Delhi beat Jaipur Pink Panthers 46-44 in a Pro Kabaddi League match at the SreeKanteevara Stadium here on Wednesday.
The raider picked up 16 points, including a record-setting 10th consecutive Super 10, as the Delhi side overcame a stiff challenge from Jaipur Pink Panthers to consolidate their position on top of the points table.
The first half of the match saw both teams trade major blows. The Delhi unit had a dream start to the match when their raider Chandran Ranjit pulled off a 5-point raid in the second minute of the match to severely reduce the Jaipur men on the mat.
The Pink Panthers, who went into the game on the back of a three-match losing streak, looked clueless as a dominant Delhi side inflicted the first All-Out of the match in the fourth minute.
Jaipur didn’t take the All-Out lightly though and captain Deepak Niwas Hooda initiated a comeback with some strong raids.
Nitin Rawal picked up a five-point raid in the 12th minute to clean up the Delhi players and force an All-Out on the table toppers. The closely-fought first half ended with Dabang Delhi leading by two points (21-19).
The second half, much like the first, started with the Delhi side on the front foot. But Sachin Narwal produced an important two-point raid that saved the Pink Panthers from an All-Out and handed the momentum to the Season one winners.
Elavarasan produced two mighty Super Tackles as the Pink Panthers started moving into a lead and the Jaipur team inflicted another All-Out on Delhi in the 12th minute of the second half to make the scores 35-29 in their favour.
The incredible Naveen Kumar, however, kept the Delhi side in the game, clinching his 10th consecutive Super 10 with five minutes remaining.
A three-point raid by Delhi’s Vijay in the dying minutes made it a close affair. And not surprisingly it was the table-toppers who held their nerves to pick a final minute All-out that pushed them to a 2-point lead which proved enough for a win.