New Delhi: Naveen ‘Express’ Kumar entered the Kabaddi record books as home side Dabang Delhi K.C. beat U Mumba 40-24 in a VIVO Pro Kabaddi League match on Wednesday at a jam-packed Thyagaraj Sports Complex in New Delhi.
The 19-year-old picked up his 8th consecutive Super 10 (awarded to players with 10 or more raid points) to equal the record set by Pardeep Narwal for Patna Pirates. The third consecutive victory in the home leg for Dabang Delhi (the best home record in Season 7 so far) helped the Delhi side consolidate their position on top of the points table.
The Mumbai team started on a better note with Sandeep Narwal and Harendra Kumar starting off with mighty tackles. The objective was very clear from the U Mumba camp – do not let Naveen Kumar into the game. And the defenders did somewhat help contain the raider in a tightly contested first half. Naveen’s 2-point raid and a subsequent tackle on Mumbai raider Athul MS forced the first All-Out of the match on U Mumba in the 11th minute. But U Mumba held firm, despite the setback, thanks largely to Fazel Atrachali’s dominance over Naveen Kumar in Mumbai’ left cover, to finish the first half 14-11. Naveen could only secure two points in the first half.
But Naveen and Delhi had other plans, as the home side started the second half with a bang. Naveen Kumar picked up four raid points in the early minutes as a few errors from Mumbai defence allowed Delhi to force another All-Out on the fifth minute. Lack of depth in Mumbai’s raiding department meant the side struggled to get back in the match despite a series of Super Tackles from their experienced defenders. High 5s (five tackle points or more) for Ravinder Pahal (8 points) and Joginder Narwal (6 points) ensured Mumbai raiders got no room to stage a comeback in the closing stages. Naveen Kumar equalled Pardeep Narwal’s record of 8 consecutive Super 10s with three minutes remaining, a hand touch on Fazel Atrachali doing the trick for the talented youngster.
Delhi inflicted another All-Out with three minutes remaining in the match to open a 15-point gap and they cruised to the final whistles, hardly breaking a sweat.
Haryana Steelers thrash Gujarat Fortunegiants 41-24
Meanwhile, Vikas Kandola’s early raiding brilliance ensured Haryana Steelers thrashed Season 6 runners-up Gujarat Fortunegiants 41-24 in a VIVO Pro Kabaddi League encounter at the Thyagaraj Sports Complex in New Delhi on Wednesday.
Vikas Kandola (8 points), Prashanth Kumar Rai (8 points) and Ravi Kumar with a High 5 (6 tackle points) led an all-round performance from the Steelers that saw the side jump to third place in the Season 7 points table.
In-form Haryana Steelers, who had lost only one match in their previous five, started the match on the front foot with their leader raider Vikas Kandola once again in the thick of things. The Gujarat defence, despite having the best tackle success rates in Season 7, struggled to contain the Haryana raiding unit as the Steelers pulled clear. Sunil Kumar and Parvesh Bhainswal both struggled to contain Kandola, and the raider inflicted the first All-Out on Fortunegiants with a 3-point raid in the 15th minute of the first half to move an 8-point lead. RuturajKoravi successfully tackled Vikas Kandola twice in latter stages but Haryana’s raider Vinay and Prashanth Kumar Rai quickly revived their star to close the first half with scores 20-11 in favour of the Haryana side.
While the raiders usually walk away with all the credit for the Steelers, the defence has been more than influential in their winning streak. The likes of Ravi Kumar and Vikas Kale were in form again, dominating the early exchanges in the second half, which led to another All-Out for the Fortunegiants in the fifth minute of the half. The Gujarat team struggled to keep Vikas Kandola in the bench despite a few successful tackles because Vinay and Prashanth were having an equally good game. Vinay’s three-point raid with 8 minutes remaining in the match forced another All-Out on a hapless Gujarat team as Haryana cruised to a 21-point lead.
The Haryana team chose to experiment in the final stages of the match, giving rest to Vikas Kandola, and wrapped up the match without even giving away one All-Out.