16 November 2018
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Young Naveen Kumar's 15 raid points against Patna Pirates went in vain as the Eagles lost to the reigning champion in the final few minutes of the inter-zonal match at Mumbai's DOME@NSCI SVP STADIUM.
Star raider Naveen Kumar was on the money right from the opening raid of the match. Our Dabangs played some tough Kabaddi and despite trailing by 6 points at one point, managed to reduce the gap to 18-17 at the end of the opening half. With Chandran Ranjit giving full support to Naveen, our boys were well in the game after the first 20 minutes.
Dabang Delhi kept the momentum going in the second half and tackled Pardeep Narwal in the opening raid. That was followed by a successful raid by our all-rounder Rajesh Narwal. The waiting game started around the halfway stage into the second half of the match.
With nine minutes left on the clock, our defence once again tackled Pardeep Narwal and took a crucial four point lead. After multiple timeouts, Deepak Narwal was tackled and our lead increased to five points.
Naveen completed another Super 10 of the season, his fourth and looked unstoppable. But our defence choked in the last four minutes. The Eagles were all out, thus shattering all the hopes of Dabang fans of beating Patna Pirates.
Overall, it was a strong performance from our boys. 18-year old Naveen is showing no signs of nervousness and is getting better with every match. Chandran Ranjit and Rajesh Narwal scored some crucial points but we just couldn't hold our nerves and that costed us an important win.
Next on plate is Gujarat Fortunegiants, who we will be facing in front of their home crowd in Ahmedabad. Gujarat has been on top form, but the Eagles have shown what damage they can do the teams in this tournament and will look to change their fortune against the home side on November 20.