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PKL 2017 | Haryana Steelers edge past Dabang Delhi in a thriller

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PKL 2017 | Haryana Steelers edge past Dabang Delhi in a thriller

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SportsCafe Desk


Haryana Steelers led by Deepak Dahiya who scored 7 points clinched a thrilling 27-25 win over Dabang Delhi in a Zone A match in Lucknow that took Haryana to the second spot in their group. Abolfazel Maghsodloo and Meraj Sheykh tried to script a comeback for Delhi but eventually fell short.

Haryana Steelers’ strong defence pushes Delhi on backfoot 

Dabang Delhi won the toss and chose the court first which meant that Haryana Steelers would raid first. Nilesh Shinde drew first blood for Delhi when he put an ankle hold to great use to catch Surjeet Singh who was trying to steal a bonus point for the Steelers. After a series of empty raids from Delhi, Abolfazel Maghsodloo was burdened with the responsibility of raiding the Haryana half in a do-or-die raid and the Iranian did not disappoint as he doubled Delhi’s lead. However, Deepak Dahiya pulled one back for Haryana with a running hand touch to send Bajirao Hodage to the bench and Delhi’s troubles were deepened when Nilesh Salunkhe had to be taken off the mat as he suffered an injury before the Steelers’ defence dashed Abofazel off the mat to bring the match on level terms at 3-3. And the Haryana defence led by skipper Surender Nada continued to wreak havoc on the mat as they inflicted the first all-out of the match on Delhi to take a commendable eight-point lead at 11-3, with ten minutes of the first half still left to play. Surjeet Singh continued to hurt the Delhi side fetching two raid points which resulted in the exit of the all-important Nilesh Shinde for Delhi. On the other hand, only Abofazel Maghsodloo managed to pick up points for Delhi to keep the scoreboard ticking as Meraj Shekyh faltered in defence to gift Haryana an easy point. Despite suffering from an injury, Nilesh Shinde kept his side’s hopes alive with his brilliant defensive skills by stopping Deepak Dahiya in his tracks. The move, however, was not enough as the Steelers finished the first half with a hefty 17-9 lead.  

Deepak Dahiya nullifies Delhi’s attempted comeback 

At the beginning of the second half the Haryana raiders cleverly ran down the clock in their raids and banked on their eight-point lead. However, Shubham broke the ice in Maghsodloo’s absence to steal a point for the Dabang Delhi in a do-or-die raid which was followed by Surjeet Singh being pinned to the mat to to take the score to 17-11 as they looked to find their way back in the game. Meraj Shekyh then flaunted his attacking prowess and stole two raid points before the Delhi defence brought down Vikas Kandola to inflict an all-out on the Steelers and bring the match back to level terms at 19-19. Nilesh Shinde, committed the first error in the match when he charged on Deepak Dahiya in a do-or-die raid which resulted in his exit from the mat whilst costing his side a point. Following this, the Steelers defence forced Meraj Shekyh’s exit from the mat taking the score to 21-19. However, Abofazel returned the favour to keep Delhi in the game with his eighth raid point. The Steelers once again picked up the momentum when Deepak got rid of Shubham before Maghsodloo failed to score a point in a do-or-die raid thereby reducing the Delhi side to three men as Haryana took a four-point lead at 24-20. With a specialist defender in Nilesh Shinde on the mat, a super tackle was on the cards and the Delhi side and they utilised their numerical advantage to their favour by bringing down Vikas to complete a super tackle and reduce the deficit to 22-24. Meraj Sheykh and the Delhi defence then tied the game up at 24-24 with less than three minutes remaining in the game. The Delhi skipper raided the Haryana half successfully to take the lead but a mistake in defence proved it useless as Haryana clinched a thrilling 27-25 win over Delhi. 

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