Despite Maninder Singh’s absence, Bengal Warriors triumphed over Dabang Delhi KC in the final by 39-34 to clinch their maiden PKL title on Saturday. Mohammad Nabibakhsh was the star for the champion team as he collected nine raid and one tackle point and helped Bengal end up as the winners.
Bengal Warriors became the champions of vivo Pro Kabaddi Season 7 after a 39-34 victory over Dabang Delhi K.C. at the EKA Arena by TransStadia in Ahmedabad on Saturday. Strong individual displays from stand-in skipper Mohammad Nabibakhsh, Sukesh Hegde and Jeeva Kumar, in what was a solid all-round performance from Bengal Warriors, led them to their maiden vivo Pro Kabaddi trophy.
Dabang Delhi K.C. made a spectacular start courtesy of good work in offence as well as defence. They quickly moved into a 6-point lead before Bengal Warriors picked up their first point of the night. That did little to halt Dabang Delhi K.C.’s momentum though as they continued to go about their business with the minimum of fuss and inflicted an All Out to move into an 11-3 lead in the eighth minute.
Bengal Warriors came back strongly thanks to some clinical raids by Ravindra Ramesh Kumawat and Nabibakhsh. The Iranian, in particular, was devastating in attack and helped enforce an All Out on Dabang Delhi K.C. with a stunning two-point raid that reduced the deficit to a single point. Bengal Warriors proceeded to gain the lead shortly after, but a bonus point from Chandran Ranjit and a successful raid by Naveen Kumar ensured that the score was level-pegging at 17-17 during halftime.
Naveen Kumar scored his 21st straight Super 10 of Season 7 in the final. The first point of the second period went to Bengal Warriors thanks to a Nabibakhsh tackle. However, neither side managed to stamp their authority on the mat and establish a big lead in the opening five minutes of the half. A successful Do-or-Die raid by Kumawat, followed by a successful Jeeva Kumar tackle, eventually gave Bengal Warriors a slight edge and BC Ramesh’s men capitalised on their momentum by inflicting a second All Out on Dabang Delhi K.C. to take a 25-21 lead.
Dabang Delhi K.C. looked to fight their way back into the contest through Naveen, but Bengal Warriors seemed to just grow in confidence after the reset. Hegde and Nabibakhsh continued to score points in attack for Bengal Warriors, while their defence also started to find success from multiple sources as Dabang Delhi K.C. succumbed to another All Out with seven minutes left to play.
Bengal Warriors then adopted an intelligent approach in the final minutes of the game. They chose their moments to pounce wisely and ran down the clock with tactical raids with Dabang Delhi K.C. trying to force their way back into the game. Swift raids by Naveen meant that Dabang Delhi K.C. got to within five points of Bengal Warriors. However, it did little to prevent what was a comfortable win for Bengal Warriors en-route to their maiden vivo Pro Kabaddi title.