Vijay and Naveen Kumar starred for Dabang Delhi KC as they beat Patna Pirates 37-36 to win PKL 8.
The final started with Patna on the front foot, Sachin and Guman Singh raiding superbly, the well-oiled defence doing what they do best. A 12-8 lead, though, thinned down toward the end of the half as Naveen and Vijay stepped up the pressure, making up for an underperforming Delhi defence. At halftime, the lead have come down to 17-15. There were warning signs, though, despite the lead. Some of the advanced tackles from covers Neeraj Kumar and Sajin Chandrashekhar were touch-and-go, while superstar left corner Mohammadreza Chiyaneh missed a couple of tackles and was tapped out repeatedly.
Sachin seemed to settle Patna nerves in the opening minutes of the second half, pulling off a superb raid and a stunning tackle on Naveen in quick succession. He was tackled the very next raid, though, and with the score 20-19 in Patna's favour, it all unravelled, an all-out coming soon. The Pirates made basic errors on defence, running out of bounds, diving into hopeless tackles and making substitutions far too early. Indeed, for the final five minutes, when Patna were trailing 32-29, and had already completed their quota of substitutions - with lead raiders Sachin and Guman on the bench. It was a tactical error that appeared to seal the fate of the match.
Chiyaneh fought back with three points on the trot, three raid points, but a Vijay super raid and the calmness of Naveen at the end meant, Delhi edged home 37-36.
Relive the match itself, through our live blog below.
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