When Abolfazal Maghsodlou was brought on, Dabang Delhi were reeling. They were unable to deal with the lightning fast Jasvir Singh and were trailing 14-5 just a few minutes into the first half. Abolfazal’s first act after he came on was doing a few jumps before taking his positions. The crowd reacted to that. Little did they know that it would set the theme for the rest of the match.
For after that, Dabang Delhi staged a comeback that saw them going from 14-5 down in the first half to making it 18-18 in the second half. Abolfazal and his captain/fellow Iranian Meraj Sheykh were central to this comeback, as was the tight defending led by Nilesh Shinde. Shinde ended the match with five tackle points.
Jasvir inflicted Delhi’s first all out in the 11th minute of the match. Meraj managed to score his first point in the 19th minute. Soon, Delhi started scoring points more frequently while Jaipur found it increasingly difficult to do so. The second half was where the tables turned. Jaipur Pink Panthers’ defensive errors saw them almost giving away points that Meraj Sheyk and Abolfazl were not taking. They went on to inflict an all out in the 21st minute. A little over five minutes later, Delhi levelled proceedings for the first time in the second half. The Pink Panthers were a frustrated lot after that juncture. They had arguments with the umpires about points and what looked like a language barrier between Manjeet Chillar and the umpire was not helping.
Delhi kept that momentum going and the pressure that they piled on was such that Jaipur suffered another all-out, making the score 27-21 in favour of Delhi. It was the 36th minute and Jaipur’s body language showed that the match may well have been decided now. Sure enough, the final score was 30-26 in Favour of Dabang Delhi. It is only the second time in eight meetings that Delhi had managed to beat Jaipur and it was a victory with an Iranian flavour to it.
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