It took Bengal Warriors seven seasons to end their drought of Pro Kabaddi League title as they defeated an inspired Dabang Delhi K.C. outfit in a nail-biting final on Saturday. In absence of their skipper Maninder Singh, Bengal played with a lot of maturity and showed great composure to clinch their maiden PKL title at the EKA Arena by TransStadia in Ahmedabad. Bengal came into the contest as the most complete team of the season and lived up to it’s billing as they put up an all-round show to stop the juggernaut of Delhi. Courtesy this win, Bengal maintained their unbeaten streak over Delhi in the 2019 edition of PKL. After playing a tie win match number 46 with Delhi, Warriors beat the capital franchise 42-33 in the other encounter at Panchkula. Also Read - Former Players Ajit Agarkar, Maninder Singh, Chetan Sharma and SS Das in Fray for National Selectors Post
The major credit of the win goes to Bengal’s defence which stood tall despite raider Naveen Kumar’s heroics for Delhi. The young 20-year-old bagged 18 raid points in the summit clash but it was not enough to take his team over the finishing line. Bengal’s Jeeva Kumar was the top defender of the final, he bagged four crucial points for his franchise. However, it was Iran’s Mohammad Nabibakhsh, who emerged as the real hero for Warriors as he claimed 9 crucial poins in his 13 attempts. He was awarded the “Game Changer of the Match”award in the post-match presentation ceremony. Also Read - Kapil Dev, MS Dhoni on Same Page as Leaders: Former India Cricketer Maninder Singh Picks Sourav Ganguly as Best India Skipper
Delhi got off to a flying start in the highly-anticipated final versus Bengal. The first half was extremely pacy with the Dabang’s showing their might. But their happiness was short-lived as they were struck hard by an inspired Nabibakhsh, who single-handedly brought Bengal back into this.
Bengal inflicted two all-outs on Delhi as their defence wilted under pressure. Naveen Kumar got his 21st consecutive Super 10 but his defence won only three tackle points and Bengal made the best of the chance.
Important Awards of PKL 2019 season:
Best Raider of the PKL Final: Naveen Kumar (18 raid points in 24 attempts)
Defender of the Final: Jeeva Kumar (4 tackle points in 5 attempts)
Game Changer of the Final: Mohammad Nabibakhsh (9 raid points in 13 attempts)
Moment of the Final: Mohammad Nabibakhsh (When he inflicted an all-out on Dabang Delhi from a Super tackle situation)
Stylish Player of the Match: Naveen Kumar (22 Super 10s, 21 consecutive Super 10s, Over 300 raid points in the season)
New Young Player of Season 7: Sumit (UP Yoddha) – 77 tackle points in 22 matches.
Perfect Raider of the Tournament: Pawan Sehrawat (Bengaluru Bulls) – 346 raid points in 24 matches, most raid points in the season.
Defender of the Tournament: Fazel Atrachali (U Mumba) – 82 tackle points in 24 matches.
Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the Tournament: Naveen Kumar (Dabang Delhi) – 301 raid points in 23 matches.