Jaipur, June 12 () Delhi Panzers put up a superb performance to overcome the Telugu Talons 29-27 in a nail-biting finish in the first clash of Matchday 5 in the Premier Handball League (PHL) here on Monday.
The Match 9 of the inaugural edition of PHL saw Telugu Talons start the game at a packed Sawai Mansingh Indoor Stadium on the front foot as they piled intense pressure on the Panzers.
The Talons took an early lead in the game thanks to Anil Khudia and Kailash Patel, while Rahul T.K. in the Talons goal made a couple of amazing saves in the opening minutes of the game to help the Talons to extend their lead further.
The Panzers were tightly marking Davinder Singh Bhullar, who turned into a facilitator for his team as he was laying on chances for Naseeb to score consistently. By the 15th-minute mark, the scores were 8-5 in favour of the Talons.
Naseeb was shooting with devastating effect from the wing as he was unplayable at times in the first half. However, Bhupender Ghanghas and Deepak Ahlawat worked together to bring Delhi Panzers back into the game as they slowly got into their attacking groove and cut short the deficit. Soon after, the half ended 13-12 as Telugu went into the break with a narrow lead.
The Delhi Panzers came out for the second half determined to fight for a win while the Talons were hoping to extend their lead.
Unfortunately for the Panzers, Anil Khudia, Davinder Singh and Naseeb were combining fluidly at the start of the second half and were able to breach the Panzers’ defences with ease. Rahul TK in the Talons’ goal was also able to consistently deny the Panzers from scoring which helped the Talons extend their lead.
Panzers’ captain Deepak Ahlawat was looking to inspire his team into action as he was spearheading all of the Panzers’ counter in the hopes of dragging his team across the line.
Halfway through the second period, the scores read 22-19 in favour of the Talons. Bhupender and Ahlawat were trying their level best to bring Delhi Panzers back into the game, but to little effect as an on-song Naseeb was scoring at will for the Talons which saw them hold on to their slender lead.
However, the Panzers recovered going into the last 5 minutes of the game thanks to an impactfull performance by Ashok Nain who was containing Naseeb on the wing and was even scoring consistently.
The Panzers took the lead thanks to their trio of Ahlawat, Nain and Bhupender Ghanghas. The game was heading for a dramatic conclusion as both teams were neck-and-neck, with two minutes to go the scores read 26-28 in favour of the Panzers. Soon after the game ended 29-27 in favour of the Delhi Panzers.
Naseeb emerged as the top scorer for the Telugu Talons by the end of the tie with 10 goals, while the Delhi Panzers captain Deepak Ahlawat was the top scorer for his team with a match-high 11 goals. Ahlawat was also adjudged to be the best player of the match for his inspirational performance during the game.