Final Thoughts – from the outside looking in..
In a sport that we are still struggling to help take off. In a sport where, we actually don’t have the numbers for once. In a sport where politics has already turned its ugly head time and time again. We as the players of India have had many encouraging and disheartening moments in our time involved with Darts. It’s encouraging to see the number of new players getting into the sport. As a person that has played the game for 22 years – more than a third of my life – I’ve grown up while having darts tournaments where I’d have to shift my tuition’s, homework and even playtime to accommodate it. I actually have gone through a long period hating this sport. However, I somehow did well at it. People said I had a natural good throw, I calculated well, I supposedly had potential according to them. I honestly didn’t care. I wanted to play basketball, eventually move to the U.S and get into advertising. Well, fate on the other hand had it’s own thoughts on the matter and at present I’m here in India, I’ve quit basketball and I’m a darts professional. Professional because it’s my livelihood now, so if anyone else says they’re a professional – you’ll know what they mean.
With the IPL strategy of tournament building coming up through cricket and then filtering into other sports – it adds a huge growth pattern to any sport it enters. It’s a proven method that adds revenue while improving performance and increasing numbers each and every time – be that players or spectators. It has entered darts and since, we being a country that has fathered the IPL into existence, we’ve embraced it. And that’s an awesome thing.
We’ve had players not keen on taking part in tournaments because they didn’t stand a chance to win, that’s the reason why Soft Tip darts does so well – due to the different rating types, opponents only play opponents who are on the same rating level. Such a thing has affected Indian Darts and continues to do till this day – thereby affecting true numbers in tournaments, revenue, prize outputs, sponsorship’s – it’s a trickle down effect. Please, don’t think I’m against people not taking part in tournaments if they’re not good enough – it’s their money and that money can be used for many more productive things that suit them. But I think, these formats of tournaments get the numbers that we expect, but in different formats – As teams.
With the hugely successful SDL, BRC SDO’s own version of it and the just concluded BDT – we’ve seen the most rookies by far. We’ve seen them improving faster than ever before since they rub shoulders with the best players – they learn from them, strategize with them, copy them, etc. It’s funny that most of the players now – are less than 3 years old in the game. 5 years back I couldn’t say that – most of the senior members would back me up on this. The last few years have been very encouraging for Indian darts. West Bengal has been spearheading this movement forward. It showed in the National tournament that took place in Chennai just a few months back – with 7 out of 8 Men’s quarter-finalists representing West Bengal. Our two Ladies players reaching the semis and further. West Bengal winning the team event and an all Bengal affair in the Doubles. In the last few years Bengal’s finest have gone overseas to Malaysia, sparred and done very well. With Vivek Khandelwal, Mohan Goel, Mayank Agarwal, Ankit Goenka, Ankita Upadhyay, Kriti Chugh and Vedika Sureka being placed in at least the Top 64 – trust me, it’s hard to do this. I’ve played the Malaysian Open 8 times and reached or crossed the Top 64 just thrice. Going there is a reality check that we go through every year and it’s made us much better players because of that. But, you will only understand the level of that achievement when you come there and see the level with your own eyes – such things can’t be explained. The standard of Indian Darts has definitely increased – players now travel abroad to play overseas more. I’m sure last year was a huge learning experience for many first timers who came from Bengal. These players have carried that learning till today – It’s why we see players like Viral Mehta, Piyush Bosmia, Vedika Sureka, Raahat Kapoor and Harsh Dalmia playing the way they do and talking the way they do as well – They’re quite new to the sport. The molding of a player’s psyche, throw, match mentality and thought process is very important. I say this because I didn’t get this growing up. I got emotional support from my parents who at the time were my practice partners as well, that’s all. They gave me the opportunity to play every tournament that I could. Whatever I’ve learnt has been through losses day after day, small tweaks, experiments, changing of my mentality, tweaking calculations, watching the greats play on the television and the internet. It’s taken me 22 years to get where I am – the players now, don’t need that long – the seniors have done the work for you. All you have to do is be a sponge and take all that knowledge in.
I don’t want to thank individuals by name here – we’re beginning to get recognized as an organisation and that’s where we should look at. Hence, I applaud the efforts of DAB in bringing life into Indian Darts, not just darts in West Bengal. I applaud all the individuals who have assisted in organizing such tournaments where not only the best, but also rookies can learn first hand what it took me years to learn. The Bengal Darts Tour was a huge success and this will carry on into other minor and major tournaments that happen throughout India and West Bengal. The future is bright for Indian darts and it gives me great pleasure to say that in the last few years, darts is now interesting again for me – I look forward to tournaments now just like everyone else – something I couldn’t say about 5 years back. Thank you, keep it up and let’s take the world by storm together.
Oh and yes, once again hearty congratulations to the Dartmeisters!!!
Now it’s time to look forward to the 3rd IDF Indian Nationals and the BRC Summer Darts Open’ 18
Click HERE for BRC SDO information.
Details on the 3rd IDF Nationals will come shortly..
Day 6 – Match Updates [Knockout Stages]
Finals – Warriors Vs Dartmeisters
Dartmeisters win!! After a totally one sided 1st game where “Small Wonder” – Sunaina Mitra, delivered again with Rajesh Chandan, it was all upto captain Vikash Jhajharia and capable partner Puja Sahni to win them the trophy. Vidhul and Vinamra had the game in their hands with numerous chances to win the first leg and then let the thought of losing the first leg affect them in the carry over to the next leg. This will leave a bad taste in the mouth for Ankita, who, I think got a really great strategy in. All strategies depend on certain key things working out, this time it didn’t. They’ve reached the finals using strategies – beating better teams with arguably better players – The same goes for the Dartmeisters as well. This tournament was decided by 4 competitors who had to handle pressure, with all of them relatively new to the game and still performing immensely to even get the teams to the finals. Two were consistent and two buckled under the pressure – Will they learn from it, yes they will. Till then – let the Dartmeisters be hailed as the 1st champions of the Bengal Darts Tour. To Vikash Jhajharia, Sunaina Mitra, Puja Sahni, Rajesh Chandan, Rohit Chowdhury and Gaurica Bhattacharya – Party on today!! Get back to the grind tomorrow. We all still have a long way to go, use this win positively in your darting journey.
SF Match 1 – Warriors Vs The Shedsters
From the scare last game to a screamer here!! It took a double in the Mad House in the deciding leg of the match for Vinamra to take the Warriors into the finals. A valiant effort from the Shedsters though to get so far and give a very competent Warriors team a run for their money. The Shedsters got great support from most of their team members throughout the tournament and it literally took one of their stars to fall in a game to lose. Bravo!!
SF Match 2 – Ditviaan Vs Dartmeisters
The Dartmeisters have outdone themselves here again – They’ve strategized to perfection here and have dodged a juggernaut in Ankit Goenka. Their stars gave them the best outcome again with Vikash and Rohit winning a key Open Doubles game and leaving it to “Small Wonder” to take them to the promised land. Mayuka, a very capable in her own right was outdone by Sunaina’s heavy scoring and eventually lost in the deciding leg. Just shows how important strategy is in this format. Kudos to Ditviaan though, who through a clear leader in “Sir” Ankit Goenka got all the way to the Semis only to lose at the very end – All I said is, that the team would go as far as Ankit could take them – Mayuka Agarwal and Vishwanath Pai had different things in mind – amazing stuff!! I love being wrong, not all the time though..
So finals coming up!!
Warriors and Dartmeisters – One with the most flexible lineup and one with the most consistent strategy so far. Ankita and Vikash have saved their teams from the blushes already, while Vinamra, Puja, Vidhul and Sunaina have chipped in with epic performances when needed. With able help from Manoj Nathani and Rajesh Chandan as well – they’re very evenly matched sides. I can’t favor anyone here – I think Sunaina, Puja, Vidhul and Vinamra will dictate who wins – Vikash and Ankita are classy and will be themselves. who crumbles under the pressure? Who rises to the occasion? Let’s see.. Runs downstairs to get some chips and coke, opens facebook live, waiting… waiting…
QF Match 1 – Royal Super Knights (A1) Vs The Shedsters (B4)
The Shedsters are the first team going on to the semifinals with a huge win against the Super Knights. With a formidable pairing of Viral and Jacqueline up front they took out Mohan and Bharti in the Mixed Doubles for a crucial 1-0 lead. With Super Knights still having a chance – the Shedsters pulled off a huge upset win with Arjun and Rahul taking out Clinton and Srinjoy. Quarterfinal 1 – Upset 1. Very interesting – Should Mohan have sent Clinton in the Mixed while pushing himself to the Open Doubles with an in form Akash Baid yet to play? The Super Knights are out – we can only speculate on what could have been.
QF Match 2 – Warriors (B2) Vs Tungsten Creed (A3)
The Tungsten Creed will be kicking themselves – they did it all right and gave the semis slot to the Warriors on a silver platter. Tungsten Creed came in with a brilliant strategy to pair up Gautam Bhuyan with Sneha Srivastav. Looking at the Warriors lineup, they banked for Mudit to pair up with Sneha which didn’t happen. Mudit then had to apply the finishing touches in the Open Doubles – Unfortunately, he couldn’t and with that the teams chances of a Semifinal slot came crashing down like a deck of cards. The Open Singles saw Ankita snatch the game for the Warriors 2-1. Mudit – who’s been crucial for this team to reach the playoffs – has just finished his board exams, bright future for this kid.
QF Match 3 – Dartmeisters (A2) Vs Thunderbolts (B3)
Dartmeisters have continued to play to their strengths perfectly and I don’t understand why the Thundebolts moved away from their dangerous pairing of Kritika and Prangon in the Mixed Doubles event. It should have been Sangam moving between Open Doubles and Singles, not them. The Dartmeisters continue to win and don’t look like slowing down.
QF Match 4 – Darts Lords (B1) Vs Ditviaan (A4)
The Dart Lords listened to me at last and got away from the Piyush / Sailesh pairing, but didn’t use the right combination to win. Piyush can make the shift to Singles – Sailesh has been playing very well in the Doubles so far – I hope you see where I’m coming from. Mayur had no choice and went in the correct slot. Absolutely criminal to put Sailesh under the fire like that and even though the match-up against Vishwanath Pai seemed equal – you can’t play a person a single game throughout the tournament and then change his spot in a crucial tussle – I know, we’re all sportsmen and have to give it our best – that just wasn’t the best situation for him to give his best. My applauds to the Ditviaan team here for doing the impossible.. I’m actually clapping here.
Day 5 – Match Updates
Both groups at the venue for today’s crucial final day of league games. So many implications – we still do not a clear cut favorite from both groups and its come up to one more game. Who will make it into the top four of each group? Can we expect any upsets? After what we’ve seen so far in tournament is the term “upset” even warranted? For whoever is there – get some popcorn and coke, get on your recliner and don’t get off your seats. For me – I’ll try distract myself and watch a Gaylestorm in Kolkata!!
Match 1 – Dartmeisters Vs Tungsten Creed
The Dartmeisters looked to wave off the an awesome duo of Mudit and Sneha only to leave their stars Vikash and Sunaina to win the game for them. This will only pave an easier route to the knockout games for the Dartmeisters whose strategies have been spot on at almost every juncture of the league. Tungsten Creed’s superb run came to a sputtering halt – however, they’ve still qualified for the playoffs.
Match 2 – Dartsmama Vs Ditviaan
Both teams had a good strategy and it all came down to the final game to decide the winner – Harsh didn’t perform to his potential and handed his team under loss in crunch time. Has Ankit and Ditviaan done enough to go through? Do they live to fight another day?
Match 3 – Trihoot Rockers Vs Royal Superknights
The Trihoot Rockers aced their gameplan but ran into captain – Mohan Goel of the Super Knights. As I’ve said before – it’s hard to go against him because he always delivers. I think I should start calling him the “Mailman” from now on. Unfortunate for the Trihoot Rockers who now are in a tussle for the final playoff spot from their group. While the Super Knights go in as the number 1 seed.
Match 4 – Biscotti Barrels Vs Warriors
The Warriors went with a good strategy and tried to get all three games – This would be their best overall lineup in my eyes. Chirag got a game back for the Biscotti Barrels with a 2-0 victory over Vidhul Goenka. With this win – where do the Warriors place on the table?
Match 5 – Kairon Darters Vs The Dart Lords
The Dart Lords took care of business against the Kairon Darters with just a win needed to confirm their top spot and they did it with fair ease – however, Kairon messed up again with their strategy – With Raahat being the key player – he didn’t play any part in affecting the games outcome – That’s criminal.
Match 6 – Thunderbolts Vs The Shedsters
The Thunderbolts took out the final game of the the night on a decider finished by the star player – Sangam Roy. They now place place 3rd in the group while the Shedsters are placed 4th. This is a let down for the Shedsters who begun the tournament on such a high. Strategy to blame? Using just game knowledge would a Viral / Jackie combo have done its part to take the 1st game? Swapping Ayub for Viral – would it have cost them the 2nd game? Who knows? But they will have to live with the results for now.
Match 1 – Royal Super Knights (A1) Vs The Shedsters (B4)
So as predicted the Royal Super Knights are at the top of Group A. Being one of the favorites, they did start off on a hiccup only to show their class as the matches went on. The Shedsters went in the exact opposite direction – starting with a bang and then fizzling out towards the end. The Royal Super Knights are the favorites to win this with the capable Mohan leading the team. However, the Shedsters still have Viral Mehta who can match up with anyone on any given day – Which team has the depth – Super Knights. Who strategizes better? That’s a tie so far but with Mohan having the freedom to float wherever he wants, the Shedsters need to get their best strategy in place. It’s Playoff time – you need 2 out of 3 – No more distribution of wealth needed.
Match 2 – Warriors (B2) Vs Tungsten Creed (A3)
This is an interesting match-up with Tungsten Creed duo of Mudit and Sneha being undefeated so far in the Mixed Doubles matches and guaranteeing their team with a 1-0 lead almost every single time. Can you do this against the Warriors? If you thought, yes – then that’s blasphemous, it’s ridiculous!! They have to change – The Warriors are flexible and they can perform against any team in the competition – they’re like iron skillets – they’re built to last.
Match 3 – Dartmeisters (A2) Vs Thunderbolts (B3)
Two similar rosters meet here in an intriguing battle for a spot in the semis. With two stars each and a capable roster to back them up what can we expect here? A tight game – definitely. But this game won’t depend on the Vikash, Sangam, Kritika or “Small Wonder”. It will depend on the support they get from the rest of the team. With Puja and Tavishi also competing for bragging rights – I’m sorry – I can’t predict a winner in this one.
Match 4 – Darts Lords (B1) Vs Ditviaan (A4)
With Ankit’s sheer brilliance, Ditviaan somehow scraped through to the playoffs. To be honest – this will end 2-1 to the Darts Lords. I don’t see the Dart Lords losing this one barring a performance for the ages from either Mayuka Agarwal, Asha Bosmia or Vishwanath Pai. They’ll have to do it without Ankit’s help – and looking at this tournament so far with him snatching 5 out of the 7 games they’ve won for them – I doubt they’ll be able to pull it off.
Final Group Standings
Day 4 – Match Updates
Group B in attendance today at the Shed for their 2nd day in the Bengal Darts Tour. Can the Warriors and Shedsters continue their great run? Will the Dart Lords assert their dominance? How will the Thunderbolts perform at this crucial juncture? What are the chances of Kairon Darters and Biscotti Barrels getting back into the thick of things? Too much contemplation – lets go to the match recaps below –
Match 1 – Biscotti Barrels Vs Thunderbolts
The Thunderbolts surged past the Biscotti Barrels for huge win 3-0. The win and the leg difference will definitely help their case in the fight for the top two spots in the group.
Match 2 – Warriors Vs Dart Lords
The Warriors went with a good lineup expecting Mayur to come up in the Mixed Doubles – This didn’t happen and it’s what was needed for the Dart Lords to pip the Warriors for a crucial win 2-1. Great strategy by Dart Lords who played to their strength with unbeaten doubles pairing of Piyush and Sailesh continuing their unbeaten run and a top player in Mayur there to finish it off. Will this change the standings a lot? Not much I reckon.
Match 3 – The Shedsters Vs Kairon Darters
Another blunder by Kairon strategy-wise, it still wouldn’t have made a difference. Shedsters dominated towards a 3-0 whitewash. Will this help their Leg count? Let’s see what happens.
Match 4 – Biscotti Barrels Vs The Shedsters
The Biscotti Barrels will be upset of not pulling off a win here. Deciding game and Vivek Agarwal falls short to Arjun – It would have been a huge confidence boost to take into their final game and would have really hurt the chances of the Shedsters in the tournament. The Shedsters though now are fighting for the top spot – all depends on their final game.
Match 5 – Kairon Darters Vs Warriors
Kairon Darters gave their best lineup yet but didn’t stand a chance against the roster of the Warriors. With the Warriors making a change in a must win contest with pushing Ankita down to the Singles spot saw an Open Doubles loss that might hurt the leg difference. Yes – they’re in the foot race to the top spot, but these lost legs might come back to bite them.
Match 6 – Dart Lords Vs Thunderbolts
The Dart Lords went in with an iffy strategy again – but a crucial win from the ever dependent duo of Piyush and Sailesh got them the advantage. With Mayur playing the Singles – the Thunderbolts lost the plot.
POWER RANKINGS – Group B (plus a little peep into the future)
- Dart Lords – They’re playing to their advantages and are now leading up to the playoffs in stride. They are definitely one of the favorites to win the whole thing but they are definitely getting too comfortable with their lineups. This will hurt them in the playoffs – they’re too predictable and if any team calls their bluff in a do or die game – they’re toast.
- The Shedsters – After a pretty topsy turvy day and needing a deciding leg to beat bottom of the table Biscotti – they cannot afford to take this form into their last game – Yes they’re at the top of the table but they face a Thunderbolts team that are looking at an numerically outside chance to get into the playoffs.
- Warriors – The loss to the Dart Lords must have hurt and it did cast a hurdle on their chances to an easy run to the top spot. Their last game will be against Biscotti – they need these legs to push the leaders for the top two spots.
- Thunderbolts – They’re winning big and losing close – They have a huge leg count but have lost 2 out of 4 games. Their last game against the Shedsters is a must win – They don’t need the legs – just a win. Time to put on their thinking hats in this must see game on the final day.
- Biscotti Barrels – They are still looking to get their first points on the board. But they gave themselves a chance to win against the Shedsters through a good lineup – It’s what I’ve been preaching for them. Unfortunate, but to me they at least get a bump here in the power rankings.
- Kairon Darters – With their solitary win over Biscotti – they’re struggling to make ground here. They need to be innovative. If you don’t have the personnel then work on setting lineups according to the opponents weaknesses. They haven’t done it yet and their fortunes are yet to point up as well.
Let’s peek into the future a little – Can we make a few predictions?
Upcoming games –
Biscotti Barrels Vs Warriors
The Biscotti Barrels are coming off their best game in the tournament so far, can they match up with the Warriors? Definitely no. Can they compete though? I’ve never say no to that. The Warriors though come into this game with one thing in mind – LEGS!! They have to gobble up each and every leg to give themselves a better chance at going through – Or they hope that The Shedsters lose. Rather take the bull by the horns and handle their fate themselves.
Kairon Darters Vs Dart Lords
Top of the table Dart Lords are already through. Mathematically, though if they lose this game they might not get into the playoffs. I don’t want to doubt Kairon with players like Raahat and Mahi but they haven’t given me anything to hold onto. Dart Lords should win this quite easily barring a catastrophe.
Thunderbolts Vs The Shedsters
This game is a Must Watch. The Shedsters need to win to solidify their place in the playoffs. The Thunderbolts need to win this to even be in the equation. But they do need the Warriors to lose against Biscotti as well – Will it happen? Who knows – But this game will be fun. With both teams having high scorers and capable players who perform under pressure – I think this will go to a deciding leg. Who wins? I don’t know – I just wish I was there to watch this in person. 🙁
Group “B” Standings – Current
Day 3 – Match Updates
Day 1 was an exhilarating day for a few teams and forgetful for some. Group A in attendance today and we have been pondering on a few questions. Do the two unbeaten team Tungsten Creed and Dartmeisters continue their streak? Can the Royal Super Knights and Trihoot Rockers claw their way back up to where they belong? Do team Ditviaan and Dartsmama have what it takes to remain relevant? We recap the Day 3 matches below.
Match 1 – Dartmeisters Vs Trihoot Rockers
The Dartmeisters got their lineup on the money here and with that continued their winning streak. With Sunaina Mitra and Rajesh Chandan picking up a crucial game against Nikita Mittal and Sandeep Chhajer, they gave their team a 1-0 lead knowing that they might have to give up a bogey somewhere. With Vikash and Puja claiming a key game two helping the Dartmeisters win 2-0 – The Rockers will have to be contemplating why they chose to put a key player in Soubhadra in the Open Singles.
Match 2 – Tungsten Creed Vs Ditviaan
Ditviaan changed their lineup, the Tungsten Creed did too – however, did they play to their strengths? Maybe not – With Ditviaan choosing to put their star acquisition, Ankit at the very bottom, Tungsten will have to be kicking themselves for losing a with a scoreline of 1-2 than what it should have been – 2-0. Yes, the last game would have been immaterial. Shuffling of players is so important in this type of event that it takes a mind that knows strengths from weaknesses. Looking at the Tungsten Creed team – Overall better Ladies player, better team, lack star men’s player. If Ankit came through in any of the Doubles and took a game, it would seem fine – But you’ve not faced him and taken the game to a deciding game where a monster in Ankit is ready to be unleashed? Tsk tsk.. and with that a winning streak has ended.
Match 3 – Super Knights Vs Dartsmama
I think the Day 1 was just a bad day for the Royal Super Knights. The team is so strong that even when Dartsmama puts up the ideal line-up against them – they still lose 3-0. Though, Dartsmama gave them a fight losing both the first games in deciders but the Super Knights had better pairs in both the doubles. The Open Singles was a dead rubber and Aakash taking Harsh 2-0 was something you don’t see very often. Maybe it was the loss of the match before the game? Dartsmama should have still won a game to end it 1-2. Those games can turn out to be gold. So, are the Royal Super Knights finally getting into their stride? Their next game is against the only undefeated team in Group A – The Dartmeisters
Match 4 – Dartmeisters Vs Super Knights
There are no more unbeaten teams remaining in Group A – With both teams daring to go in with different strategies – The Super Knights had the better roster and ended up with a huge win to boost their chances at topping the group. The Dartmeisters went for a stronger unit with Vikash and Puja against Super Knights lone Ladies Player in Bharti but didn’t expect to meet Mohan as well. With Mohan and Bharti snatching a first game victory 2-0, they looked to clean it up in the second Open Doubles event. However, to the surprise of everyone Rohit and Gaurica played amazing under pressure against Clinton and Anuj to get the Dartmeisters back into the game. It then fell to “Small Wonder” Sunaina Mitra to take on in form Akash Baid from the Super Knights. Akash got the Super Knights the victory in an epic tungsten tussle and capitalized on Sunaina’s missed attempts to finish the deciding leg..
Match 5 – Dartsmama Vs Tungsten Creed
The Tungsten Creed went back to their top heavy lineup while Dartsmama erred at in their lineup again. With Farman and Vedika losing to Mudit and Sneha, the writing was in the sand for Dartsmama who couldn’t get back from behind with Harsh in a position not to affect the result and only get a single brownie point for the team.
Match 6 – Ditviaan Vs Trihoot Rockers
Old mistakes came back to Ditviaan who honestly cannot continue to make Ankit play with any of their other key players. For a team like the Trihoot Rockers who have a solid roster – you don’t have any choice but to spread the wealth you have and hope your key players bring you the most dividends. Mixed Doubles – Vishwanath Pai and Asha Bosmia, Open Doubles – Ankit Goenka and Ranjib Chowdhury, Open Singles – Mayuka Agarwal. I’m sure that this would have bought a different result. Ankit will have to stay in the middle rather than shifting from top to bottom where he limits the amount of pressure he puts on the opposing team but also gets into a duo with Asha or Mayuka who are his other key players – Hope they pull it together for their final game. For the Rockers – this was business as usual – They won through their numbers – it’s their biggest pro. They can easily bully teams that can’t keep up with them – but it’s against the heavyweights that they will have to use strategy.
POWER RANKINGS – Group A (plus a little peep into the future)
- Dartmeisters – Only a double away from being the Group’s only undefeated team – I can’t think of any other team that deserves this spot more. Team effort led by their stars in Vikash and Sunaina, consistent and well thought out strategies, playing to their strengths – I needn’t mention anything else. A special call out though to Gaurica and Rohit for their upset win in an eventual loss to the Super Knights – I’m pleasantly surprised.
- Royal Super Knights – So they’ve woken up finally, with two wins and being at the upper portion of the table does help muster in some confidence. With more aggressive lineups and an on-game Mohan – This is why I called this team the favorite to win it all. Can’t have any more ups and downs though – It’s business from here on in.
- Tungsten Creed – Oh how one colossal bad strategy can change your fortunes. The loss to Ditviaan could have been easily avoided. The win against Dartsmama was fine, since they went back to a proven strategy. Will this strategy work anymore? Quite a fall from Day 1, though I did expect this sooner or later.
- Trihoot Rockers – They haven’t helped their chances after their two games today. The win against Ditviaan was expected but a loss to the Dartmeisters in that fashion – cannot happen when you’re vying for the top spot. They need help from up above to have any chance of getting into the playoffs.
- Ditviaan – The only game they’ve won is when Ankit moved. With him playing, anyone else expecting a win would be beyond imagination. It’s just so much more easier to give him an easy point and take the other two. It’s when Ankit moves that he gets to face the opponents better players – and then give Ditviaan a better chance of winning. With utmost respect to all members of the team, as I said before – the team will go as far as Ankit can take it. If you don’t put him in a position to do that, it’s like you’re shooting yourself in the foot.
- Dartsmama – Apart from placing the ideal lineup against a heavily favored Super Knights team, they haven’t done much right. Strategy has been bad and no matter how good your players are – if you play them in unfavorable match-ups or don’t let them contribute to their full potential – you can’t expect the wins. And that’s unfortunately what has happened so far.
Let’s peek into the future a little – Can we make a few predictions?
Upcoming games –
Dartmeisters Vs Tungsten Creed
A top of the table tussle – Whoever wins this match goes through to the playoffs. Can the Dartmeisters continue picking their best strategies? Can Tungsten Creed afford to go ultra aggressive? My pick – Dartmeisters gets into the Playoffs
Dartsmama Vs Ditviaan
With both teams looking at finishing the tournament with a win, how do they go about it? Ditviaan chooses Ankits position by pulling at straws? Dartsmama use their three key players and win the numbers game? My Pick – Dartsmama has a better overall team, please think strategy!!
Trihoot Rockers Vs Royal Super Knights
This game is do or die for both teams – Both need a win. Royal Super Knights need a win to finalize their qualification into the playoffs and the Trihoot Rockers need a win just to remain relevant. Can they strategize against each other? Seem’s difficult. My pick – I know never to doubt Mohan’s capabilities but this isn’t about him – It’s about whether his team can support him. Trihoot Rockers spoil the party and hope to remain relevant in the standings for a spot into the Playoffs.
Group “A” Standings – Current
BDT Rankings (After Day 2)
Day 2 – Match Updates
After a pretty eventful Day 1 – the remaining teams get to the oche today. Will we see huge upsets like Day 1? Have the teams developed their strategies? As we saw yesterday – however great of a player you are – strategy and team effort take the cake here. Bengal Darts Tour-1 Day 2 recap is here below..
Match 1 – Biscotti Barrels Vs Kairon Darters
The Biscotti Barrels and the Kairon Darters come after having unimpressive auctions. However, with good players on either side, this game still was a treat to watch. Mahi Bosmia and Deepak Jain got the ball rolling for Kairon with a 2-1 victory over Biscotti’s Sunanda Bhattacharya and Vivek Agarwal. Kairon’s prize catch Raahat Kapoor teaming up with Madhu Lakhotia fell to an impressive Chirag Daga and Dishant Thakkar pairing 1-2. With the scores tied a one a piece – we saw a little magic with Amit Mehta beating Abhishek Chowdhury 2-0 and giving Kairon the win in their first game.
Raahat will be expected to do more in the upcoming games and might not be able to afford going into the last game scores tied again.
Match 2 – Dart Lords Vs Shedsters
The Shedsters opened their account with a huge win against one of the tournament favorites – Dart Lords. The Shedsters went with their lineup in the only way they could – go aggressive and win the first two games, which actually did not happen!! It took Rahul Burman a decisive leg to give them their win. Against a team like Dart Lords though – they would require such inspired performances. The Dart Lords on the other hand erred on strategy. Viral, an accomplished player can take on even the best in the country on any given day – you wouldn’t want to take chances on that. They did and it worked – however, using up Piyush and Sailesh – two key players in a singular win, didn’t bode well in the match’s result. Piyush and Sailesh together are a great combo – but there is also something called overkill – distribute the wealth Dart Lords!!
Match 3 – Thunderbolts Vs Warriors
In a game that had at least three of the tournaments major players, the Warriors looked to a wily experienced campaigner in Manoj Nathani to help them across the finish line with a 2-1 victory over the Thunderbolts. Could Tavishi and Prangon have won the first game if they were together? It allows Kritika to be a floater anywhere in the lineup. The Warriors used this perfectly with Ankita, and her game 2 victory with Vinamra over Sangam and Tavishi only proves my case.
Match 4 – Biscotti Barrels Vs Dart Lords
The Dart Lords annihilated the Biscotti Barrels in their second game of the day. Going with the same lineup that failed them in the previous game the Dart Lords were definitely a hard team to beat and the Biscotti Barrels didn’t look like they could make a dent in the 3-0 loss.
Match 5 – Kairon Darters Vs Thunderbolts
The Thunderbolts came back from their earlier defeat to the Warriors with a 3-0 drubbing of the Kairon Darters. With a crucial win in the first game and the upset of Mahi Bosmia and Deepak Jain, Kairon had to fight from behind to the end. And there is only so much even the best players can do – It’s not about pressure this time – It’s about having enough players to challenge. Those 21 unused points are hurting them now.
Match 6 – Warriors Vs Shedsters
The Shedsters, on a high after beating the Dart Lords faced the Warriors in the last game of the day. Here, the Warriors strategy was bang on the buck – doing what the Dart Lords failed to do and float a player. The swap of Ankita and Vinamra to the Mixed Pairing was unfair on Jacqueline and Arjun. The following game they played possum to Viral Mehta and left the best for last – Vidhul “Savage” Goenka racing into the sunset with the victory in hand.
POWER RANKINGS – Group B
- Warriors – Perfect strategy, used in the right way – they seemed to know what to do, how to do it and when to do it. They end up perfect on Day 2 with a 2-0 record. Two totally different lineups for two totally different teams – as I said – they are flexible – the most flexible team in the tournament . Good luck figuring them out (Maybe an observation that I can let you all know after the tournament is over – what gives them the edge over all the other teams – I hope you’ve realized what it is)
- Shedsters – After a day that saw them end up with a 1-1 record, and an upset win over the Dart Lords, I’d call it a successful day for the Shedsters. They’re somewhat similar in composition to team Dartsmama, but the lineups were key. They took on the Dart Lords in the right way and they went the same against the Warriors, though yielding in a loss. It still provided them with the best way to win and they went with it.
- Thunderbolts – The team lost to the Warriors after Kritika and Prangon gave them a 1-0 lead. They went too strong in Open Doubles and paid the price in the following Open Singles. They then made the right change won a dicey game – though they did have Kritika at the end to assure them of a win if their plans went sideways. Hope the trend continues.
- Dart Lords – After a forgettable Day 2 and ending up with a 1-1 record, the Dart Lords are still the team to beat in Group B. However, can they strategize for their upcoming matches? They haven’t yet spotted their own difference makers and if they have, those players aren’t getting enough chances to be such difference makers. Don’t romanticize with the Piyush and Sailesh pairing – they’re great and will bring in the “point” That’s all that they’re limited to. What if you split them up and used them across the lineup? Oh! I notice I haven’t even spoken of what Mayur can do as well. If the next few games aren’t better it would be a misuse of talent on a really good bunch of players. Can’t let that happen – Though they’re still in a better position than the Super Knights – You ain’t out until you are.
- Kairon Darters – Raahat has lost both his Open Doubles games, Mahi has gone one and one while a little wizardry from Amit Mehta was the difference of being 0-2 and 1-1. In a Round Robin League – that’s the difference between a trip to the playoffs or an Uber back home. Their stars need to be used better in different and more effective combinations immediately. They can’t afford another Day 2 repeat. [And I promise I wont mention the 21 unused points again]
- Biscotti Barrels – It’s unfortunate that a team has so many players that possess grit but not the right balance, chemistry and more importantly other worldly talent. It’s fine when you miss out on one of those key ingredients, not when it’s all missing. After a last game loss to Kairon, an already down bunch met the Dart Lords keen to make right on their loss earlier in the day. And it was just lambs to a slaughter – I say this because the Biscotti Barrels were absolutely perfect with their lineups this day and only got a whiff of a win. They will remain in games because of the fight they have. They’ll just have to fight harder.
Day 1 – Match Updates
With Group A teams starting off the inaugural Bengal Darts Tour today and with many balanced teams in a short format upsets are expected on the cards. However, not so fast – Would a pre-crowned champion stumble? Would underdogs make their mark today? Let’s get a recap..
Match 1 – Dartmeisters Vs Dartsmama
Both teams came in with the same strategy – to win 2 games straight and take the victory. Vikash and Puja took a 2-1 victory to give the Dartmeisters a 1-0 lead. With Farman and Nivedita bringing Dartsmama back into the game to tie it at one a piece with a victory over Sunaina and Rohit. The final game saw Rajesh Chandan from Dartmeisters get the better of Dartsmama’s Shane Ireland to lead them to a Game 1 victory.
Match 2 – Ditviaan Vs Royal Super Knights
We had different strategies here from each team – With Ditviaan going on to get Ankit Goenka at such a large sum and not having enough to solidify their roster they had to go with their best lineup and this was it. The Super Knights, with Mohan Goel and Bharti Mandapaka succumbed to an early loss with Ankit Goenka and Asha Bosmia of Ditviaan taking a clean 2-0 victory. The Super Knights though had a successful auction and it showed in their depth with Akash and Anuj taking the Open Doubles 2-0 against Vishwanath and Abnish. While Clinton Khanna claimed a dicey 2-1 victory over Ditviaan’s Mayuka Agarwal in the Open Singles.
All in all an unimpressive first game from the Super Knights who were expected to have a cleaner victory. Ditviaan showed what was expected of them – They will go as far as Ankit can carry them.
Match 3 – Trihoot Rockers Vs Tungsten Creed
My very own Dark Horse for the tournament Trihoot Rockers got absolutely galloped over in their first game against the Tungsten Creed. With Tungsten Creed not having a great auction – their players displayed more than their worth with a 3-0 whitewash.
I wouldn’t reconsider the Rockers lineup who actually did have the upper hand in all games here and should be disappointed with their opening game of the tournament.
Match 4 – Dartmeisters Vs Ditviaan
With Dartmeisters looking to stay away from an Ankit barrage, their game plan for their key players was spot on and it showed in the victory. With Ankit and Asha powering Ditviaan to a 1-0 game lead after a 2-0 victory, Dartmeisters still had their primary arsenal primed to fire. With Vikash and Puja snagging a 2-1 victory over Vishwanath and Ranjib, they got a game for a 1-1 tie and with a key player still left in Sunaina Mitra, got their win in the final game against Mayuka Agarwal for a 2-1 game victory.
Match 5 – Dartsmama Vs Trihoot Rockers
The Trihoot Rockers went in with another good gameplan and this is what took the game away from Dartsmama here – choosing to weather Dartmama’s stormy trio of stars – they chose to take the win with a strong Open Singles player in Writam Basu. Dartsmama should have continued with their first lineup as it gave them the highest chance to come out as victors – with a trio of stars, their best bet would be to go with these players in their first 2 games itself where they would have an advantage against most teams.
Match 6 – Royal Super Knights Vs Tungsten Creed
The Tungsten Creed followed up their first victory with a huge upset in the final game of Day 1. The Super Knights by not adjusting to the Creed’s repeated strategy – going all out to take a game 1 victory and letting the pressure get to their opponents who are forced to fight from behind. A swap of Clinton Khanna and Mohan Goel would have yielded a different result? Maybe this is just a post-debate but, with the Super Knights Mixed Doubles pairing going two games without a single leg, a change looks to be on the cards.
POWER RANKINGS – Group A
- Tungsten Creed – Who saw this coming? I for sure did not. With a simple gameplan that works for them, I’d personally like to see how long can they continue on this run. Can Mudit and Sneha continue to give them their initial boosts? Will they have to tweak their lineup against other teams? With wins over the top two teams in their group arguably – I think they’ve already put all the teams on notice – they’re in it to win it.
- Dartmeisters – So far, the placement of their stars has been immaculate resulting in two wins out of two matches on Day 1. They’re playing to their strengths so far – how will they respond when put on the backfoot? They have crucial upcoming games against the Royal Super Knights, Trihoot Rockers and the impressive Tungsten Creed.
- Trihoot Rockers – With a 1-1 day 1, I’d say that they performed below expectations – however, their gameplan had been spot on in both games. The players will ultimately get into the thick of things and perform – early jitters, I presume – They’re still my Dark Horse, though have grown a shade grey.
- Royal Super Knights – Following a horrendous Day 1, losing one game and barely stealing another – a 1-1 record would seem to be something that wasn’t expected from this juggernaut of a team. The lineups haven’t been great, they aren’t playing to their strengths and if this continues – I fear I wouldn’t favor them in upcoming games to make it to the top 2 in their group. Mohan will have to lead from the front – whether it be, playing better or slotting himself in the games to give the Super Knights an additional chance to win – the onus is on him. So far, he’s fallen twice and they’ve lost once while almost losing another. The only reason they won, deeper roster. Their upcoming games? Teams with deep rosters as well. It’s officially time to panic.
- Ditviaan – As expected, Ankit’s class will keep them in games. However, I’m not a fan of him coming up front – yes, he wins his games but he’ll have to slot himself in the Open Doubles and be a balance of some sorts for them. I’d gameplan for him in the same way everyday – We’re going to lose a game since Ankit is there anyways – he plays the first game, let him take it – we’ll strengthen our next two games and win the match eventually. Ditviaan needs to change it up a bit. You cannot win team events being a one trick pony. They’ll have to make the opponents call their bluff.
- Dartsmama – Gameplan is key, targeting their opponents weaknesses is something the team didn’t do. Hence, they’re the only team yet to pick up a win in the group. Using Farman as their key player – they can choose to go bottom heavy depending on their opponents strategy. You still have a formidable pair in Farman and Vedika to take an “OPEN” Doubles victory and Harsh Dalmia can definitely hold his own in the Open Singles. Play to your strengths or play to your opponents weaknesses – you cant go midway.
The Bengal Darts Tour is here – with 12 teams and 72 players going under the hammer for a chance at glory. Let’s see the team compositions below –
Game Format – Mixed Doubles / Open Doubles / Open Singles
Team 1 – Biscotti Barrels
Vivek Agarwal, Abhishek Chowdhury, Sunanda Bhattacharya, Chirag Daga, Dishant Thakkar, Samir Sheth.
With a team lacking heavy hitters – Biscotti Barrels did pull themselves back into the fray with their number of average players that can catch fire at anytime. With players like Chirag Daga, Vivek Agarwal and Sunanda Bhattacharya – Biscotti have inconsistent firepower that will get them wins. How will these players fare for them in crunch time? All the onus is on them – For Biscotti to be a contender they will need consistent performances from these players in particular, with extra pressure on Chirag and Sunanda as their marquee players.
Team 2 – Dartmeisters
Rajesh Chandan, Puja Sahni, Sunaina Mitra, Gaurica Bhattacharya, Vikash Jhajharia, Rohit Chowdhury.
Dartmeisters have seemed to get their major boxes ticked with their picks of in form Vikash Jhajharia and Sunaina Mitra. With Puja Sahni showing flashes of potential in previous tournaments – this tournament would act as a coming out party. The think tank for the Dartmeisters will have to be absolutely perfect though as the placement of Vikash and Sunaina in the lineups will be of prime importance – Can Rohit and Rajesh elevate their game on command? Can Gaurica add value to her filler spot? Dartmeisters will only do as well as their support players perform. This is a good spot to be in though and shows scope for a team that can get better as the tournament goes on to the latter stages.
Team 3 – Dartsmama
Shane Ireland, Nivedita Sarkar, Farmanul Haque, Harsh Dalmia, Vedika Sureka, Prithwiraj Mukherjee
Dartsmama have done a decent job at the auction with their picks. With players like Farmanul Haque, Harsh Dalmia and Vedika Sureka they have players who are experienced in the format and are adaptable to different lineups, responsibilities and situations. With Shane Ireland showing that he has the ability to win against good players *pausing for reaction* and to pick his game up when needed – Dartsmama will need Nivedita and Prithwiraj to up their scoring to impact the results.
Team 4 – Ditviaan
Ankit Goenka, Asha Bosmia, Vishwanath Pai, Mayuka Agarwal, Ranjib Chowdhury, Abnish Agarwal
Ditviaan has remained loyal to their star pick up – Current National Champion – Ankit Goenka, and threw in the kitchen sink to get him. He can win games by himself and almost assures them of a third of the points total. All eyes will now be on Mayuka Agarwal – who has displayed immense scoring power in the past, Asha Bosmia who has only bettered her game over the past year and an experienced Vishwanath Pai. How do they do their lineup compositions? Ankit is assured of the Open Doubles spot to win the match or keep Ditviaan in the thick of things. Do they put all their eggs in one basket and go for a kill in the first Mixed Doubles? Do they play possum and finish it off in the final Open Singles? I doubt they will have a consistent show in the Open Singles – Asha and Vishwanath should play the Mixed Doubles and Mayuka gives them the best chance in the Open Singles. This will be an easy team to strategize against. However, for Ditviaan, it’s a good problem to have.
Team 5 – Kairon Darters
Mahi Bosmia, Amit Mehta, Raahat Kapoor, Deepak Jain, Madhu Lakhotia, Shatadru Sarkar.
21 points left unused – an unfortunate turn of events. Keeping it point blank – this is Raahat’s team. However, there is more pressure on Mahi Bosmia to perform in the Mixed Doubles. Raahat on the cusp of becoming a star in Indian Darts has already proven he’s the king of team events. Possessing a game that fits in the Threesome, Doubles and Singles format – this is the first time he will have to lead the team. Where does he slot in the lineup? Kairon will have to go for the kill – With Mahi playing the Mixed Doubles and then Raahat playing the Open Doubles. However, a team without a player of Raahat’s caliber and you can maybe see him winning the game for Kairon in the last Open Singles.
Team 6 – Super Knights
Srinjoy Sen, Bharti Mandapaka, Mohan Kumar Goel, Anuj Agarwal, Akash Baid, Clinton Khanna.
With arguably the team of the tournament and Bengal’s stalwart Mohan Goel leading them – this team is built to take on anyone in the tournament. With a capable scorer in Bharti Mandapaka being part of the Mixed Doubles – the Super Knights have the liberty to make their lineup in any possible way. With Clinton Khanna also earning a spot in the team – the last spot will be upto Srinjoy, Anuj or Akash for a support role in the Open Doubles. With such flexibility, this team can only lose through bad strategy.
Team 7 – Dart Lords
Sanjeev Ray, Piyush Bosmia, Sailesh Rupani, Mayur Nahata, Rahul Shahi, Sneha Agarwal.
Another heavyweight of a team – the Dart Lords will look to spoil the party and claim themselves as the best team in the tournament. With State Finalist, Mayur Nahata being their top pick – I would look at Sailesh Rupani being their key contributor. Sailesh has improved tremendously over the last year or so and will have to be consistent to support Piyush and get the wins. Look at this team to finish games fast than let it go to the final game – Mayur and Sneha followed by Piyush / Sailesh for a scoreline of 2-0 (WIN).
Team 8 – Shedsters
Viral Mehta, Arjun Bhardra, Soumya Dutta, Sk. Monirul, Jacqueline Khanna, Rahul Burman.
The Shedsters have done well in their first auction and with Viral Mehta have a player that can lead a Doubles pairing and is also capable of taking on any Singles player. However, more emphasis is on Jacqueline to perform and help them take those Mixed Doubles wins. With little known Soumya Dutta already making a name for himself at the CoC tournament and being capable of a good scoring output – look at the Shedsters going at finishing games off fast in the first two games itself.
Team 9 – Thunderbolts
Kritika Sheth, Sangam Kumar Roy, Prangon Chowdhury, Tavishi Rupani, Piyali Bhattacharya, Veer Kundalia.
Having two stars in Sangam and Kritika gives the Thunderbolts a lot of flexibility against most teams. They can go for a quick win or take it till the last game depending on their opponents rosters. Look at Kritika to not play the Mixed Doubles and use her game prowess to play in the Open Doubles or even Open Singles. With Tavishi also being a more than capable player – the team will look to her to lead them to wins in games where Sangam and Kritika aren’t playing.
Team 10 – Rockers
Ankit Shaw, Rajnish Kansal, Nikita Mittal, Writam Basu, Saubhadra Dasgupta, Sandeep Chhajer.
“The Dark Horse” – With a team led by Sandeep Chhajer and a star in Writam Basu plus only Nikita Mittal confirming a permanent slot in the Mixed Doubles – who is the team’s next best player? Ankit Shaw – a young, springy and ultra aggressive player? Rajnish Kansal – an established veteran player with a proven track record? Saubhadra Dasgupta – a newcomer and arguably the buy of the tournament, with a very consistent game? Sandeep Chhajer – a player who has already given many top players a scare and has only been getting better since beginning darts not too long ago. Plain and simple – This is not a team you want to face.
Team 11 – Tungsten Creed
Shantanu Das, Abhishek Dutta, Sneha Srivastav, Mudit Sadani, Gautam Bhuyan, Abhisek Dhanuka.
With current State champion Sneha Srivastav cementing her Mixed Doubles spot – this gives Tungsten Creed a chance to always stay in games – whether winning the first 2 games or pushing a 1-1 scoreline towards the final game. But what else do they have? Mudit Sadani – a capable young darter with a high scoring clip. Can he focus on helping his team through? The fate of the team lies on him.
Team 12 – Warriors
Priyanka Kothari, Vinamra Garg, Ankita Upadhyay, Vidhul Goenka, Chirag Thakkar, Manoj Nathani.
Warriors came out with a well built team at the auction. With Ankita Upadhyay leading a capable roster, look at this team being very flexible in their lineup order. Ankita, capable of even playing the Open Singles, only adds to the teams flexibility. With Ankita pairing up with Chirag / Manoj for the Mixed Doubles and Vinamra and Chirag / Manoj looking at starting the Open Doubles, Vidhul playing the Open Singles – *Wait, Wait, what about Priyanka?!?! – are you people arguing and thinking that this shouldn’t be the lineup?!?!* I told you that already.. They’re ultra flexible, don’t expect any lineup to be the same from this team.