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Naveen's 16-point performance goes in vain as Haryana Steelers clinch thriller

BALBIR SINGH | December 11, 2023 07:55 AM

BENGALURU: In a topsy-turvy game where both teams held massive leads at different points of time, the Haryana Steelers registered a 35-33 win over Dabang Delhi K.C. at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium in Bengaluru on Sunday. Delhi's Naveen Kumar (16 points) and Steelers' raider Siddharth Desai (10 points) were the standout performers of the day.

The Delhi side made a blistering start off the blocks, and with barely five minutes gone inflicted a first all outon the Steelers to take a 10-2 lead. An assertive Naveen Kumar seemed to be picking up points with every raid he went for, and the Steelers reeling from the onslaught, were down by 10 points for a while.

As the half wore on the Steelers slowly came together, and stemmed the point bleed, but their raiders struggled to get going. It all changed with three minutes of the half to go though, Vinay's SUPER RAID on Vishal Bhardwaj, Yogesh and Mohit, starting a sequence which saw them inflict an all out of their own. The gap was a mere 4 points at the break with Delhi leading at 21-17.

The Steelers' comeback continued early in the second half, and within five minutes of the restart, they inflicted an ALL OUT to take a 25-21 lead. Capitalising on some stout and solid defending from his team, Siddharth Desai hit a rich vein and soon started racking points with almost every raid.

In a frenetic finish, Naveen almost single-handedly launched Delhi's comeback and with a minute to go had closed the gap to two points. However, Ashish, the last Steelers player on the mat, stole a point on the last raid of the evening to take his team home.

Monday's fixtures: Jaipur Pink Panthers vs Gujarat Giants - 8 pm, Bengaluru Bulls vs U.P. Yoddhas - 9 pm

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