BENGAL DARTS TOUR 2019 #2
The Bengal Darts Tour returns for Stage 2 in 2019. With quite a few marquee names not playing this edition there wasn’t a dearth of players and we still had some really good rosters being made at the auction on 4th August. A few puzzling moves and a few masterpieces. How did the champions Double Treble fare? Will the Sharp Shooters and the Trihoot Tuskers be able to keep their core teams or strategies? Yes, there are quite a few more teams but these were the standouts of the tour. Who are the movers and shakers? Let’s slice and dice this all into itsy-bitsy pieces and look at them under a lens.
The Event Format remains the same, however we now have 7 players per team this edition. You still have to play each player the mandatory two events though.
We have a new entrant into the fray – Team Hawkeye replaces team Bahubali Darters. (The number of Kattappa and Avengers Easter eggs I have here are insane) Calm down boy..
Team 1 – Dartlords
They retained Bobby Bhuyan for 2 points which was the right way to go, he contributed well last season. At the auction they have ended up with a team that I would say can contend but they are far away from one that can win. The reason I say that is that they dont have a proven match winner and a leader that knows how the process of winning has to happen. They had that last time with Vikash. They have players like Deepak Jain who are exciting to watch and are on the cusp on taking the next step and they have Mayur, who is a good player but is far off from becoming a leader and needs the guidance himself. Ankit Chowdhury and Bobby Bhuyan are good heads to have in the mix – they are calm, composed and bring a level of maturity to what could be a cocktail of over excitement and inconsistency. Sumit is a good add on to the team and he does add to the chemistry he has with few of his team mates. Sneha is a shell of her former self but of course you cannot teach experience.
Roster Analysis – B+
The Dartlords are in a sticky situation where they have two players that can get them event wins. They have other players that can handle pressure as well. Put them together and you have various combinations they can go with against each opponent. However, there are combos that we know wouldn’t work. A Bobby wouldn’t go in the Mixed neither would Deepak. You need Ankit in the Open Doubles as he plays a good support role and when he is on song he can take the game away himself. So ideally you have Ankit and Sumit. Leaving Mayur with Sneha who would be an irritating pair to face because of the rhythm at which they throw. The reason I said no to Bobby and Deepak – Bobby has always been a Singles player and will be – he performs best there and there is no need to mix that up unless very necessary. Deepak is someone who plays at a fast flow and partnering someone who is the polar opposite to that in pressure games doesn’t bode well. So yes, even though they have quite a few players that can play everywhere, it’s the type of players they have that hurt them. They’re still a decent side – you’re going to have to beat them.
Team 2 – Dartmeisters
The semifinalists from last edition and reigning overall champions of the Bengal Darts Tour retained Surojit Paul at a point which is huge value. They started well by getting Siddarth Pathak and Chandan Hazra for a combined 7 points – both are players who are new to the game but already have a few tournaments under their belt and can score at a clip – Good additions. Getting Apurv Chokani at 13 points is a steal in my book. He was arguably the best player from the Bahubali team last edition and is a very capable player under pressure. Getting the player of the tournament in Raahat Kapoor gives them a leader and a player that can play all formats and give them the requisite wins. He’s a match winner as he proved last time. They have Bharti Mandapaka who again is a great player for a single point. and they exercised the “Right To Match” option on Mrinal Shah towards the end of the auction. They did miss out on a few key names which would have made this team an undeniable championship contender but it’s a team well made.
Roster Analysis – A
You can book an event win with Raahat in the squad. You then have Apurv, Surojit and Mrinal who can go anywhere. With Chandan and Siddarth there for support I think they’re sorted. Yes, there is pressure on Raahat to perform and they will have to win key games but they have a team that can go according to its strengths and against the opponents weaknesses – they’re dangerous as usual.
Team 3 – Ditviaan
They retained Priyanka Kothari at 7 points which was definitely the right way to go. They have one of the best captains and players in team based darts in Vikash Jhajharia and they have partnered him with Abhishek Dutta who is on a tear currently. With these three players as the foundation and need to build upon it. They have a young and good player in Prangon who will learn a lot under Vikash. They also have Akash Baid who has been under performing tremendously but is a proven match winner. Alongwith them – they’ve added Sanjeev Ray and Vineet Khera to the mix.
Roster Analysis – B
They have a team that can contend with most teams however, they don’t have a 6th player that can perform consistently. They do not have a player apart from Vikash or Abhishek that can make up for that lack of a player either. So – do they go with a 3 strong and 1 giveaway strategy? Or do they go with a 4 event strategy that might not yield them the results they require? Decisions, decisions.. Well, at least they have the right person for the job to do that.
Team 4 – Double Treble
The champions retained their captain Vishal Mehta for this edition and with Raahat going at 61 points this time – maybe they could’ve stuck with him and tried their luck with Vishal in the auction or a “Right To Match” – we’ll never know but looking at the team they’ve built and based on how the auction went – I feel it would have the same effect and they would bring the same results. So yes, they bring in Sahana Agarwal who is a very good player for her price tag. They bring in Sandeep Chhajer, Abhishek Dhanuka, Shiv Pandit while also adding steals in Rajesh Chandan at 4 points and Amann Singh at a measly 3 points.
Roster Analysis – A
In my opinion, they are the only team in the competition where all their players can be used to yield points. With Rajesh Chandan being no slouch and can take out almost every teams 6th or 7th player this gives them tremendous potential as apart from Sahana – all their players can play any event. They will have to play the whole tournament according to their opponents weaknesses. If I was picking at straws to give a negative remark on the team – they do have players that are inconsistent so you cannot bank on them every single time. They should breeze through the league stages but one bad game and that’s it in the Knockouts. But apart from that – they’re always going to be a team that can win any event and against top level players who normally do not have greatly built teams – they can always win the other events. But this pressure quadruples during the Knockouts and they will have to perform then. So that’s the first solid contender for the title and they’ve made a good case to retain their title as well.
Team 5 – Flamin Dragons
After an underwhelming edition they retained Vedika which was the right way to go. They got Viral Mehta who has always been an amazing player. With 63 points on these two players and with 5 to go – here is the only thing I do not understand – why don’t they have a better team? Abhijit Bhagh and Dishant Thakker are good additions for sure. But when you look further down the roster, it gets quite thin.
Roster Analysis – C
We need to foot 6 players in every match. They will have to play two of their bottom three. When you have bogey players that cannot contribute to a few event wins that puts way too much pressure on Vedika and Viral up top now. The strategy of having another lady’s player that could help with Vedika playing another event has also not been explored. So the team becomes really easy to predict and even if Viral and Vedika win their games – it’s not a guarantee that the team wins. If your best players win and you still cannot win a match – that’s doesn’t bode well and shows the make up of the team.
Team 6 – Hawkeye
Newcomers to the Bengal Darts Tour – I would like to extend my warmest welcome to them and would also like to hand them a little warning – we all want to beat you. So all the best. 🙂
Leading the team is a great player in Tilak Saboo and he has Kumarial, Karan, Mohit and Vinamra behind him. Asha Bosmia is the lone Ladies player with youngster Rainabh Agarwal rounding out the team. Not much to say here – they’ve made a decent team.
Roster Analysis – B+
A decent team and such a low score – why? Apart from their captain, Tilak, they do not have a match winner in the side. They have players who are known more for their inconsistencies than most others. Yes, I agree that they are good players but there is a difference. At each point total their players were bought at – there were more consistent performers at the auction. This is not a hit on them – these are good players but I have seen them lose matches they should have won comfortably in the past. This might haunt them but I hope they prove me wrong. There is always that team that proves me wrong and I hope its Hawkeye. And honestly, apart from the few players I think that can lead such a side – Tilak is perfectly suited for this team.
Team 7 – Rockers
There were quite a few people who didn’t agree on my opinion of the Rockers team last time and I’m happy personally that they reached the semis. With Jolly and Sunaina not available for this edition they ended up retaining Abhishek Agarwala at 2 points which is definitely a value buy. My very own Chota Bheem – Mohan Goel is back!! 🙂
They have a superstar in Kriti Chugh, Subhas Patra, Arjun Bhadra, Abhishek Chowdhury and Lorraine White to make up the rest of the team. This looks like a great team….. It’s weird when I dont have a negative quip to tell Mohan 🙁
Roster Analysis – A
This team can go all out honestly. They have a marquee player in Kriti who has the convenience of moving anywhere in the lineup. Lorraine, who would be providing the team with that luxury is a steal at 1 point. Mohan, Subhas and Arjun can play anywhere and can all perform in crunch time. That leaves both the Abhisheks who have a few tournaments under their belts and have had the limelight on them shine a little bit. The only thing I have here is that Mohan and Kriti haven’t been in the best of forms of late. This adds more pressure on them as the team would look at their key players to give them the contributions that are expected of them. But yes, an uber flexible lineup and players that can play under pressure and the fact that they can go for points in each event make this team a contender.
Team 8 – Royal Super Knights
They retained Kanika Jhajharia which was the right way to go. They used their “Right To Match” on Nitin Kumar which was not the way I’d go (but due to certain reasons – I support.. hehe) They have an experienced player in Chirag Kapoor and up and comers in Avijit and Shuvankar while also grabbing a steal in Mukul Dhanuka. You then have Gautam Jhanghiani who is a great person to have and can definitely get you an event win – I do remember what he did with the Dartmeisters in the last edition. I normally do get biased with my own teams and I think this team is better than the team last edition. But again, that’s just my opinion.
Roster Analysis – A-
Nitin leads here and with Kanika steadily improving into the upper echelon in the Ladies category they have a good foundation. You have the support of Mukul Dhanuka and Chirag Kapoor while you also have newcomers in Avijit who showed everyone what he is capable of at the recently concluded Powerplay Masters and Shuvankar who is still improving. With Gautam Jhanghiani being a decent support this does give the team the capability of going all out in every event.
There are only two teams that have this sort of team setup – where one player goes for a bulk of the points and they are surrounded by capable players. I rank Dartmeisters above the Super Knights because they have players who are proven match winners.
Team 9 – Sharp Shooters
Last editions finalists retained their best player in Farmanul Haque and got the most expensive Ladies player and current Powerplay Masters champion – Asha Mehta to join him. They added Sayak Sarkar who is a great team player and alongside them added able supports in Mayank Murarka, Sarajit Mohajon and Chirag Thakker. Nikhil Chokani rounds off the team. They have a similar setup to last time where they had two stars and capable players to support them but were top heavy. It’s the same here as well.
Roster Analysis – A+
Yes, the first team with an A+ rating but again with their own flaws. Asha doesn’t have the lineup flexibility that they would have liked but with Farman and Sayak there to steady the ship and with Mayank Murarka the most capable player after that – they seem fine. They will look for good performances from Chirag and Sarajit to keep the pressure off the top players. They should breeze through the Leagues stages – but one bad performance in the Knockouts and it could be curtains. Another Title favorite but there is too much on Farman’s plate – It’ll be interesting to me to see how he responds.
Team 10 – The Shedsters
They didn’t choose to retain anyone – initially I thought that would have to be Siddartha Deb Roy and now that they got him for around the same points – good stuff. They managed to get Sangam Roy who would be their main player and surround him with a very capable Dipak Chaudhary. They have support players in Tanmay Biswas, Kaushik Padhi and Raghu Damani. Their lone Ladies player to round off the team is Akshara Gupta. This is a well built team with a very big flaw.
Roaster Analysis – B+
If anyone has noticed – the teams that have won the tournaments so far are always those that have a steady contribution from their Ladies player. Yes, Akshara might be a new comer and her abilities will have to be seen – but this doesn’t bode well for the team. You either get a new comer and add more number of quality men’s players around her or you get another good Ladies player so that she can then be used for lineup flexibility. So now you basically use up one of your better players to pair up with her as she is now a compulsory part of the Mixed Doubles unit. Either it’s a giveaway or your best player now has only half a chance to yield the points he can give you. This is also the first event – so it put you on the back foot right away. You might lose the points you expect from a Sangam, Siddhartha or Dipak. So now you have more pressure added on your supporting cast – and that’s a recipe for disaster when you don’t have a proven player sitting on your bench. This is definitely a good team but when you’ve made a supporting cast worth about 20 points and you could get 2 players for that amount who are proven under pressure and another player at a solitary point as they will not be playing anyway – Since Akshara will have to play all events – Don’t you now have much better balance? Still – good team. their lineups will have to be looked at here.
Team 11 – Trihoot Tuskers
Last editions under-achievers are back at it again with an awesome auction. They retained Jacqueline Khanna at 11 points, got Shreya Chowdhury who would aid in lineup flexibility, pursued and got Shantanu Das, Saubhadra Dasgupta and Soumya Dutta which is basically their supporting cast. They needed two players that could lead and they ended up with Piyush Bosmia and Aman Sondhi. Need I say more?
Roster Analysis – A
Why have I given them just an “A” after they had such an awesome auction? They have two people that can lead the team in Piyush Bosmia and Aman Sondhi. My choice is Aman not because of his ability to play but his attitude and risk taking ability in a team based format. He’s proven it before already. Piyush, the current Powerplay no.1 needn’t prove himself in this format either. You have Jacqueline who has under performed of late while you have Shantanu, Saubhadra and Soumya who you can make an argument for as not the best support players available. That’s the only niggle. But you know what you get with this team – they are consistent and that’s maybe something you didn’t have with the team last edition. And yes, they are title contenders even though I feel the teams around them have gotten stronger.
Team 12 – Warriors
Where do I begin here? Firstly, not retaining Nada was a mistake – alright the team got her back. They did retain Manoj Nathani though who is a decent support player. They have two main players in Avijit Dutta and Chirag Daga. They then round off the team with Sanjay Todi, Amit Mehta, and Mihir Shah. Also, 33 points were squandered at the end of the auction – Notable players who were sold under 33 points – Everyone apart from 9 players in the auction.
Roster Analysis – D
Why is it that Nada should have been retained?” The reason why is because she is on the fringe of not being one of the best players and not being in the bottom pile of players – she is someone who can play and has a long way to go. Retaining her gives you the option to go for a better female of male player depending on your strategy. How can this strategy be made? By poaching the first marquee player you can get your hands on!! Once you do that – you have your strategy set in stone and you go with that.
Anyways, back to the analysis – we have 7 players that make up the team, we need to get 6 players that will be part of a match every time. Yes, Manoj, Sanjay, Amit and Mihir are no slouches – they have all won crucial games before and that ability doesn’t just vanish. But when you have to play 3 of the 4 since Avijit, Chirag and Nada are now untouchable – how do you place everyone? There is only one strategy where they can get any points for sure – Avijit and Chirag in the Singles and then whatever comes – it comes.
Bengal Darts Tour #1 2019 – Champions – Double Treble
Who will win the BDT crown? It’s between the Sharp Shooters and Double Treble. Both teams have performed very well so far and drew their previous match in the group stage.
Double Treble send in Chirag and Bharti up against Deepak and Kriti. They take a much needed leg with the scoreline 2-1 in Sharp Shooters favor. Raahat brings it back to even-steven with a 2-1 victory over Farman. Scoreline now read 3-3. Ankit and Abhishek take a hugely crucial victory over Vidhul and Mihir 2-1 to give the Double Treble a huge advantage with the scoreline reading 5-4. The ball is on Double Trebles side with their captain Vishal Mehta taking on Sanjay Todi from the Sharp Shooters. Vishal does it for Double Treble and gives them a 2-0 victory and the Bengal Darts Tour Crown!!
With the semifinals now beckoning lets take a look at the results.
Semifinal Match 1 – Sharp Shooters Vs Dartmeisters
The Sharp Shooters had the easier route while the Dartmeisters took out a virtual final lock in the Trihoot Tuskers. Who will book their spot in the finals?
The Sharp Shooters send in Deepak and Kriti who take the win against Sangam and Sunanda 2-1. Farman takes out Subhash 2-0 to give the Sharp Shooters a commanding 4-1 lead. This leaves the Sharpshooters needing to legs in the next two games to make it through to the finals. Vidhul and Mihir take care of the rest beating Sayak and Mrinal and sending the Sharp Shooters to the finals.
Semifinal Match 2 – Double Treble Vs Rockers
Double Treble had to come from behind to take out the Super Knights while the Rockers stepped up in the tiebreaker after having a spot in the semis locked against the Shedsters. Who takes this? The momentum though is towards the Double Treble.
Double Treble send in Chirag and Bharti up against Jolly and Shantanu of the Rockers. The Rockers lead 2-0. Raahat brings it back to two a piece with a 2-0 win against Abhishek. Double Treble tighten their stranglehold for a finals spot through Ankit and Abhishek who take an important 2-0 victory against Vikash and Rajesh. With the Double Treble leading 4-2 leading up to the last Open Singles they need a leg to face the Sharp Shooters in the finals. Captain Vishal of Double Treble does the needful taking the leg off Sunaina Mitra and in the process sets up an intriguing finals clash.
The Bengal Darts Tour is coming to an end and the judgement day is here!! Lets take a look at the quarterfinal results.
Quarterfinal Match 1 – Sharp Shooters Vs Dart Lords
The Sharp Shooters match up really well against the Dartlords and this would give them the momentum to make it through to the end – the Dartlords however, need to be on their “A” game.
Deepak and Kriti kick things off for the Sharp Shooters against Vikash and Nivedita. Sharp Shooters lead 2-0. Farman extends the lead for the Shooters with a 2-0 win over Shiv. Prangon and Abhishek of Dartlords get a game back and pull it to 2-4. The final game saw Vidhul up against Bobby and Vidhul takes the leg required to send Sharp Shooters into the semifinals with a 5-2 scoreline.
Quarterfinal Match 2 – Dartmeisters Vs Trihoot Tuskers
The Dartmeisters are a well balanced team while the Tuskers are top heavy but have contributors all around. However, the Tuskers have been the more consistent team so far – how much does that count for?
The Dartmeisters kick things off with Sayak and Sunanda taking on Jackie and Saubhadra. Dartmeisters take the early lead 2-0. Viral of the Tuskers brings it back at two a piece beating Surajit. Sangam and Subhash take out Raghav and Mukul 2-0 to snatch the lead back for the Dartmeisters at 4-2. Mudit takes the game to a draw after taking out Mrinal 2-0.
The Dartmeisters win an emphatic penultimate leg and move on to the Semifinals.
Quarterfinal Match 3 – Rockers Vs Shedsters
Both teams have done extremely well until this junction and its been team efforts from either side. Who wants it more?
The Rockers send in Jolly and Shantanu up against Arjun and Ratna from the Shedsters. Rockers lead 2-0. Vikash takes out Samir to give Rockers a 4-0 lead. The Shedsters fight back with a win virtue of Sid and Puja taking out Abhishek and Rajesh. The final rubber saw Sandeep of the Shedsters send it to a deciding leg shootout after beating Sunaina 2-0 for a Draw.
The Rockers take out the tiebreaker and move on to the Semifinals.
Quarterfinal Match 4 – Double Treble Vs Royal Super Knights
Double Treble are a team in form while the Super Knights will have to be on spot to take this game out – Lets see what happens.
Raahat and Bharti give Double Treble an early lead with a 2-1 victory over Pai and Kanika. Nitin gives the Super Knights the lead 3-2 with a 2-0 victory over Chirag. Abhishek and Tanmoy of the Super Knights take out Ankit and Abhishek from Double Treble 2-1 to further the lead 5-3 in favor of the Super Knights. Captain Vishal of Double Treble needs a 2-0 victory against Dishant in the final game to force a tiebreaker. He does the needful and we now move to a winner takes all.
Double Treble take the win and move on to the semifinals.
– Match Schedule Updates –
Final Standings of Group A and B
The final games of Group A and B are complete – Let’s take a look at the results –
– Group A –
Match 1 – Bahubali Darters Vs Trihoot Tuskers
Bahubali will be looking to bow out in style while the Tuskers will be looking to further their lead up the standings. Trihoot lay a dent in Bahubali’s hopes with Jackie and Srinjoy taking out Mahi and Abhishek 2-1. Apurv falls to Viral giving the Tuskers a 4-1 lead. Pawan and Sneha of Bahubali snag a game back for Bahubali to bring it to 4-3 and give them a fighting chance. The last game saw captain Mudit take Trihoot towards the finish line with a 2-1 victory over Vinamra and give them a 6-4 scoreline.
So – last game against Trihoot and you choose to go with a balanced side when you know Trihoot has a much better team. Funny. Mahi and Apurv shouldnt have been split. I understand if Pawan being the best Singles player on the squad avoids the singles but not at the cost of weakening a pair that could have delivered them the win. Bad lineup and a loss to Bahubali.
Trihoot end up with the top spot of Group A while Bahubali take the last spot.
Match 2 – Dartlords Vs Rockers
A clash between the 2nd and 3rd ranked teams in the group – with both teams stacking up well – what was the result? Jolly and Shantanu of the Rockers take a crucial victory in the Mixed Doubles over Abhishek and Nivedita 2-0. Captain Vikash Jhajharia of the Rockers takes out his counterpart Vikash Kothari 2-0 to extend the lead 4-0. Abhishek and Rajesh then cement the victory for the Rockers by beating Prangon and Mayank 2-1. Sunaina continues what she’s been doing the whole tournament for the Rockers and she continues on her run by beating Bobby 2-1 to give a thumping victory for the Rockers at 8-2.
These were good lineups from both teams – The Rockers delivered while the Dartlords inconsistency reared an ugly head. Nothing more to say.
The Rockers snag the 2nd spot in Group A while Dartlords fall a place down to 3rd in the group.
Match 3 – Royal Super Knights Vs Warriors
The Super Knights need a draw or a win to stay in the competition while the Warriors require a win – It’s now do or die for both teams.The Super Knights kick things off sending in Nitin and Nikita who take a 2-0 victory against Nada and Ranjib. Dishant then cements the Super Knights spot in the next round with a 2-0 victory over Vijay guaranteeing them a draw at least with the score sitting at 4-0. Avijit and Veer snag the Open Doubles from Abhishek and Pai 2-0 while Sailesh from the Warriors completes the formalities beating Sanjeev of the Super Knights 2-0 to salvage a draw for the team with the final scoreline reading 4-4.
The lineups went well – we can say that an Avijit Open Singles could have given them a different result but then the Open Doubles would be up for grabs – decent lineups from both sides and the Warriors will have to be upset with the chances they had for the win.
The Royal Super Knights take the 4th and final knockout spot from Group A while Warriors will have to settle for 5th and make their way out of the competition.
– Group B –
Match 4 – Ditviaan Vs Sharp Shooters
Ditviaan, in 5th, have underachieved tremendously this tournament and will be looking to end it on a good note against the Sharp Shooters who will be looking to grab the 1st spot. Ditviaan sends in Swati and Shalin up against Deepak and Kriti of the Sharp Shooters. An expected 2-0 lead to the Sharp Shooters. The first Open Singles sees Tilak of Ditviaan up against Farman and he falls 2-1 giving the Sharp Shooters a 4-1 lead. Shuvankar and Priyanka grab a game back 2-0 for Ditviaan against Mihir and Jaideep to give them a fighting chance. with the scoreline at 4-3 in the Sharp Shooters favor. Vidhul gives the Sharp Shooters a win 2-1 and the match 6-4 after a win against Mayur in the final game.
Ditviaan has under-performed and it honestly has shocked me. They should have gone in with a plan and they didn’t. Even though their players didn’t perform consistently I feel their players weren’t in the right situation to perform either – they will have to go back to the drawing board. The Sharp Shooters on the other hand have been iffy with their lineups but that will all get sorted out in the Knockout phases where they can play to their strengths.
Ditviaan fall to the last spot in Group B while Sharp Shooters settle for the 2nd spot.
Match 5 – Dartmeisters Vs Double Treble
With the Dartmeisters and Double Treble taking the 2nd and 1st spots in the group before this game, it would be interesting to see how the game would fare. Dartmeisters Sayak and Madhu take a 2-1 victory over Abhishek and Bharti. Ankit brings them back on level terms after taking out Gautam of the Dartmeisters 2-1. The Dartmeisters then strike back with Sunanda and Mrinal beating Vishal and Abnish 2-1. With the score at 5-4 in the Dartmeisters favor we head into a crucial final game. The last Open Singles saw Raahat from Double Treble taking on Sangam of Dartmeisters. Raahat takes the game 2-0 and gives the Double Treble a 6-5 victory in a thrilling match.
The lineups were fine. The Dartmeisters would have been happy with a lead going into the last game only to have inform Raahat coming up against them. Double Treble will have to stop relying on him so much – key contributions from others will be key for the knockouts.
Dartmeisters free fall down to 4th in the standings while Double Treble snag the 1st spot in Group B.
Match 6 – Flamin Dragons Vs The Shedsters
With the Flamin Dragons out of contention and the Shedsters in the thick of things looking to go up the standings this would be a great match as well. The Shedsters go up 2-1 through a Puja and Sandeep victory over Vedika and Abhijit. Arjun then wins the Open Singles 2-1 against Kumarial of the Dragons to give the Shedsters a 4-2 lead. Sneha and Vidhi take a game back for the Flamin Dragons 2-1 to give them a fighting chance with the score 5-4 in the Shedsters favor. Karan takes a crucial 2-1 victory for the Flamin Dragons and bringing the game to a stalemate at 6-6.
Both teams had to make use of their extra players and these were good lineups as well. A well deserved draw by the Dragons after being down after two games.
The Flamin Dragons go up to 5th spot in the group while The Shedsters will settle for Group B’s 3rd spot.
The next round of matches for Group B are complete. Lets take a look at the results from Rounds 3 and 4 –
Match 1 – Ditviaan Vs Double Treble
Table toppers Double Treble will look to take on Ditviaan in the first game of the day. Ditviaan sends in Tilak and Priyanka up against Chirag and Bharti. Double Treble take the upset victory 2-1. Raahat from Double Treble then takes the Open Singles 2-0 against Mayur to extend the lead to 4-1. Ankit and Abhishek cement the victory with a 2-0 victory over Ditviaans Shuvankar and Piyali. The last rubber saw Double Treble captain Vishal beat Swati 2-0 for a resounding 8-1 Double Treble victory.
I don’t get the thinking here. When Shuvankar and Priyanka have done well – why break them at the cost of your two best Singles players? They still lost it so that is Backfire no.1. Mayur going up against Raahat – When Raahat is in such sublime form and Mayur has been iffy why do you send him into the slaughterhouse? Backfire no.2. This one leads to Backfire no.3 – where Swati had no business being in the Open Singles. So wait – first things first – The clear best player on both teams is Raahat – Avoid him. Your Singles players aren’t firing – alright, split them but not for a partnership that has delivered so far. If your best Singles player in Mayur – send him at the end where Raahat might not appear – chances of that so far have been 75% 1st singles. So play the numbers game. Tilak pairs Piyali or Swati in the Open Doubles. The 1st Open Singles should have been a giveaway and Mayur should have gone last up against Vishal who has still played alright but is still getting back to old form. Know your strengths and weaknesses – if you aren’t playing to that then play against your opponents strengths and weaknesses – this shouldn’t have been an 8-1 drubbing but well there you go. They deserved what they got – a bad lineup followed by bad performances all round.
Match 2 – Dartmeisters Vs The Shedsters
Both have had wins and losses on Day 1 though the Dartmeisters have been the more consistent bunch. The Shedsters go in with Arjun and Ratna who take out Sayak and Sunanda 2-1. Mrinal pulls the game back at three a piece with a victory over Samir 2-1 in a giveaway from both teams. Surojit and Subhash are taken out by Sid and Sandeep from the Shedsters 2-0 in a crucial win pushing the game now solely to the final rubber. Sangam salvages a draw for the Dartmeisters after beating Puja 2-0 and ending the game 5-5.
Both lineups from the teams were great. Can we nitpick that Puja should have gone in the 1st Singles? That’s a bit too far – they both matched each other even in that way. Good game.
Match 3 – Flamin Dragons Vs Sharp Shooters
The Sharp Shooters started off with a hiccup but then got back in line while the Flamin Dragons had a hard fought Day 1 with only a solitary point to show for it. Sharp Shooters kick things off with a Kriti and Deepak pairing against Vedika and Aman – Sharp Shooters take a 2-0 lead. Farman then extends the leads beating Karan 2-1 while Mihir and Asha take out Sneha and Vidhi 2-0 to cement a Sharp Shooters victory 6-1. Kumarial wins a game back for the Dragons against Vidhul 2-1 to end the game at 7-3 in Sharp Shooters favor.
The Sharp Shooters have a team that the Flamin Dragons just do not posses. Again – both the giveaways were also better for the Sharp Shooters and that 2-0 only helped their cause. Vedika and Aman if split would have been a Vedika and Karan who might have given a different result but Farman would have had an easier game – no change by the Flamin Dragons could have changed this inevitable result. The Sharp Shooters are just better – that’s why they’re one of the favorites.
Match 4 – The Shedsters Vs Ditviaan
The Shedsters coming off a hard fought draw against the Dartmeisters will be looking to take this game and go up the standings. While Ditviaan will have to come back from their blunder in the previous game. The Shedsters continue with Arjun and Ratna who take out Piyali and Shalin 2-1. Mayur beats Samir 2-0 to bring the lead back to Ditviaan 3-2. Sid and Sandeep snatch the lead back for the Shedsters in a 2-0 victory over Shuvankar and Priyanka. the scores leading up to the final rubber are 4-3 in the Shedsters favor. Only a Ditviaan win will keep them out of the loss column. In comes Ditviaan captain Tilak against Puja of the Shedsters. Puja completes the upset 2-1 and gives Shedsters a hard fought 6-4 victory.
The only criticism I can give here is again at the cost of Ditviaan – Shuvankar and Priyanks against a team that have always gone strong in the Open Doubles? A Mixed Doubles matchup against Arjun and Ratna might have given a better result? Yes, Piyali and Shalin would have gotten drubbed in the Open Doubles but Shuvankar and Priyanka stand a better chance. And yes, Tilak will have to take the games he’s supposed to win – can’t say anything else about that.
Match 5 – Dartmeisters Vs Flamin Dragons
The Dartmeisters come of a hard fought draw against the Shedsters while the Flamin Dragon come of a nicely played loss against the Sharp Shooters. How did the match fare? The Dartmeisters go in with Sayak and Sunanda who take out Sneha and Abhinav 2-0. Sangam beats Vedika 2-0 to give the Dartmeisters a 4-0 lead. Mrinal and Surojit beat Karan and Abhijeet 2-0 to give the Dartmeisters a victory. Kumarial salvages another final game win 2-0 against Subhash to end the game with a Dartmeisters win 6-2.
The only thing that could have changed the result here is a Vedika and Karan Mixed Doubles and they would have to win 2-0 which is quite hard when you know the opponents are Sayak and Sunanda. The Dartmeisters had to play Gautam and Madhu and they didn’t elect to play them here and this was a gamble that paid of for them this game.
Match 6 – Sharp Shooters Vs Double Treble
Both teams are favored to do well in the competition and are currently topping the group as well – this would be an exciting match. Kriti and Deepak kick things off for the Sharp Shooters against Chirag and Bharti 2-0 while Double Treble captain Vishal brings it back to even stevens with a 2-0 win over Sanjay. Vidhul and Mihir take a crucial 2-0 victory for the Sharpshooters for a 4-2 lead while we get into a mouth watering clash with inform Raahat Kapoor needing to win 2-0 against a formidable opponent in Farman. In a great nervy game Raahat prevails 2-0 to end the game in a draw while the Sharp Shooters can only leave with a bad taste in their mouths.
Yes, this was the Sharp Shooters game to win – they had the better team and couldn’t cross over the line. Double Treble will be ecstatic at this result and they had the right person for the job there to give them the result – both lineups were great and well, the Sharp Shooters have the extra difference maker – they will have to use this advantage wisely.
– Remaining Matches –
Match 1 – Ditviaan Vs Sharp Shooters
Ditviaan are out of the tournament after tallying 2 points from their first 4 games. They would like to end it with a bang going out against the Sharp Shooters – Can they affect the standings? They’ve been criminal in their lineups and haven’t utilized their players in the right scenarios and have been a very inconsistent team. The Sharp Shooters though are 3rd in the standings and will just have to go according to business and see that they can try and get a leg advantage through this game – it’s the best last group game they could ask for.
Match 2 – Dartmeisters Vs Double Treble
The Table Toppers Double Treble and the current 2nd placed Dartmeisters will go head to head to see in a clash where the Dartmeisters still have to play their mandatory 2 games per player. Lineup strategy will be key here while Double Treble might look at experimenting with a few different options that they could use in the knockout phases.
Match 3 – Flamin Dragons Vs The Shedsters
Bottom of the Table – Flamin Dragons face the Shedsters who have locked up the 4th spot. The Dragons cant take a few positives from this tournament – Vedika and Karans games have been encouraging and it will be great to see how they use this information to make a better roster during the next auctions. The Shedsters have will have their key players to thank for this position after crucial wins in much needed games. They have a chance of leapfrogging into 3rd and mathematically even 2nd with a large victory – but lets see what happens.
P.S. – A Dartmeisters loss and a Sharp Shooters win sees the Dartmeisters fall to 3rd and maybe even 4th if the Shedsters also take a large enough victory. Nice!! Nothing is final till the last day – Exactly what the hard nosed spectator needs!!
The next round of matches for Group A are in the books. Lets take a look at the results from Rounds 3 and 4 –
Match 1 – Bahubali Darters Vs Rockers
Bahubali are at the bottom of the table while the Rockers come in with two topsy turvy games in the books – how did they do today? Bahubali changes things around by going with Vinamra and Sneha in the Mixed Doubles while the Rockers put forth Jolly and Abhishek A. Rockers go up 2-0. Shantanu Das takes a 2-1 victory for the Rockers against Abhishek Chowdhury to extend the Rockers lead 4-1. Captain Vikash and Sashi then take out Apurv and Mahi to cement the victory with a 2-0 win. The last game saw Bahubali captain Pawan fall to Sunaina 2-0 with the final scoreline reading 8-1 in a resounding victory to the Rockers.
Bahubali could have gone two ways – stuck with Mahi and Apurv up top or split them up. It’s an either or battle – Vinamra has been in inconsistent form and he would require a Mahi to give him that confidence during the game. The exact opposite goes for Apurv – he has had a good tournament so far and Sneha being a decent support could have done exactly that while he took the lead. Who knows – rather than losing both games – they could have taken one out of two? Sunaina has again proven her worth in the format after taking out another great player in a two day span and she is their X-Factor. She isn’t an easy out and placing her in the matches is key for the Rockers.
Match 2 – Dartlords Vs Warriors
Both teams had a win and a loss on Day 1. With Dartlords having an inconsistent team but with players capable of taking games single handedly which is in stark contrast to the Warriors who are a very consistent team and give you exactly what you expect from them. Dartlords kick things off with a Prangon and Nivedita pairing up against Vijay and Nada. Warriors go up 2-1. Then it’s our first captain vs captain face off with Vikash taking on Avijit and aiding the Dartlords to bring the game back in the Dartlords favor with a 2-0 victory. Arnab and Sailesh from the Warriors take a 2-1 victory over Mayank and Sumit while the tug of war now remaining at a stalemate. The final game would decide it all. Bobby from the Dartlords takes a 2-1 victory over Ranjib to give them a nail-biting 6-5 victory over the Warriors.
This was a good game throughout – you can argue that Avijit should have avoided Vikash and continued going in the last Open Singles – if he was there it would have been a Warriors victory – but hey, it’s a leg based tournament so I cant pick at everything. It’s wasn’t a strategic blunder and Vikash’s placement against Avijit for the Dartlords worked out and resulted in them taking the victory.
Match 3 – Royal Super Knights Vs Trihoot Tuskers
Current table toppers – Royal Super Knights will be taking on the title favorites in Trihoot Tuskers who had a shocker of a start to the tournament. The Super Knights will be looking to continue their form while the Tuskers will be out to show why they are the favorites to win it all. The Super Knights begin the rubber sending in Abhishek and Kanika up against Jackie and Saubhadra – The Tuskers take a 2-0 lead. Nitin takes out Srinjoy to bring the Super Knights back at two a piece. The next Open Doubles games sees Viral and Raghu take out Tanmoy and Pai 2-0 to give Trihoot back the lead. Captain Mudit of the Tuskers concludes the formalities with a 2-0 victory over Dishant and thus claiming a sound 6-2 victory.
Strategic blunder by the Super Knights – Trihoot did well of spotting where Nitin would play and they aced it. It’s the league stage and Nitin should have put himself in the last singles – it could have ended up in a draw – who knows. But yes, someone has to get it into that nincompoops head. :-S
Match 4 – Warriors Vs Bahubali Darters
With the Warriors almost taking the win against a good Dartlords squad and Bahubali being taken to the cleaners by the Rockers how does each team respond here? Bahubali stir the pot even more pairing Chirag with Mahi now and they take a 2-0 victory over Veer and Nada. In another captains match up Avijit beats Pawan 2-0 to bring the Warriors back on level terms. Arnab and Sailesh get them a solid lead with a 2-0 victory of Bahubalis Apurv and Abhishek. The last game sees the Warriors leading 4-2 and needing a leg to take the win. Vinamra of Bahubali has the last say and takes out Vijay Kumar Singh 2-0 to give Bahubali an emphatic draw 4-4.
Chirag is an underrated player and him pairing up with Mahi gives them a good option but shouldn’t they have gone in with Mahi and Abhishek? Mahi will take the lead while Abhishek can not only support but can score it at a decent clip on his day. A Chirag and Apurv pairing might have taken that extra leg from Arnab and Sailesh? Different result, yes – could have given them their first win of the tournament.
Match 5 – Dartlords Vs Royal Super Knights
With Dartlords taking a scrappy win against the Warriors and the Super Knights being thoroughly pummeled by the Trihoot Tuskers how did both these teams get along – they do match up well, that’s for sure. Abhishek Dhanuka and Nivedita give the Dartlords a great start taking a 2-0 victory against Pai and Kanika. Dartlords Captain Vikash extends the lead with a 2-1 victory over Dishant. Super Knights bring things back with a 2-0 victory through Nitin and Tanmoy over Mayank and Sumit. With a 4-3 scoreline in favor of Dartlords leading into the final game Bobby does the needful for the 2nd game in a row taking out Abhishek Datta 2-0 giving the Dartlords a 6-3 victory.
Dartlords went with a sound lineup here getting the requisite legs from their main players. Nitin placed himself wrong again and couldn’t get any of their key players. He had a 3 in 4 chance and he landed in the bunker on the fairway. It’s been a horrid day for him and the team.
Match 6 – Trihoot Tuskers Vs Rockers
Trihoot look to be in their element after their first game loss to the Warriors while the Rockers have come into the game having won both their previous games 8-1. Both teams in form – makes for an excellent contest. Trihoot send in Jackie and Saubhadra who take out Vikash and Sunaina 2-1 in a crucial victory. Viral further extends the lead beating Sashi 2-0. Trihoot tightens the stranglehold with a 2-0 victory over Jolly and Abhishek to claim a 6-1 victory with a game to go. Mudit finishes off proceedings with a 2-0 victory over Rajesh and a thumping 8-1 victory.
This was sheer class and the Tuskers are the first team to stamp their authority in the tournament. Apart from their first game where a few players were caught sleeping they have not taken a step wrong and are definitely the team to watch for the rest of the tournament. They are the new table toppers and have a huge leg margin. The Rockers lost their first game which would have hurt them but they just dont have the team to contend – neither do 80% of the rest of the teams. Have to capitalize on their bad games or else you don’t stand a chance against this juggernaut of a team.
– Remaining Matches –
Match 1 – Bahubali Darters Vs Trihoot Tuskers
Both teams are at either end of the table. As I said before – Bahubali is a decent team with dangerous players but they are not experienced in the format, however they have the personnel to take Trihoot by surprise and land their first win of the tournament. They are mathematically out of the tournament but it’s been a great show from them – I look forward to seeing them do much better in the next editions. Trihoot on the other hand will just have to do what they are doing, they’ve shown why they are the favorites with resounding victories and consistency.
Match 2 – Dartlords Vs Rockers
The Dartlords and Rockers are fighting for the 2nd spot – both teams match up well and it most likely will be upto Abhishek Dhanuka and Sunaina Mitra to provide their contributions in an important game for both teams. Dartlords are safe and need a win to cement the 2nd spot. A loss might see them fall down to 3rd. If the Rockers lose they might fall down to 4th – that depends on the result of the final game remaining.
Match 3 – Royal Super Knights Vs Warriors
With the both teams tied on points, the Super Knights have a leg advantage over the Warriors and are currently in 4th place. The Warriors need a win to stay in the tournament while the Super Knights need at least a draw to make it through to the knockout phase. When everything is on the line and it’s the last match of the group – makes for an exhilarating finale.
P.S. – A Warriors or Super Knights win and a Rockers loss might contribute to them jumping up two spots to 3rd as well. While a draw sees the Super Knights in and the Warriors out.
Oh My Gawd!!
The 2nd day of the Bengal Darts Season 2 featured the teams from Group B – lets take a look at the results from Rounds 1 and 2 –
Match 1 – Ditviaan Vs Dartmeisters
A new look Ditviaan will be looking to start afresh by taking on the defending champions – Dartmeisters, in the opener of Group B. Ditviaan open the proceedings by sending forth Mayur and Priyanka up against Mrinal and Sunanda of the Dartmeisters. First blood goes to Ditviaan who take a 2-1 lead. Dartmeisters send in Sangam in the Open Singles and he brings them back to level with a 2-1 win over Shuvankar of Ditviaan. Subash and Surajit further the Dartmeister lead with a 2-0 victory over Piyali and Swati of Ditviaan to lead upto a crucial last game rubber with a commanding 5-3 lead. Captain Tilak of Ditviaan will face Sayak in a game where he had to to win 2-0 to salvage a draw, however, it was Sayak who pulled off a 2-0 upset victory and getting the defending champions off to a great start this season.
Ditviaan made a key error here – they will have to switch Mayur and Shuvankar so that they can get the best results. Yes, you can argue that if they did – they might not have taken the win but the game against Sangam could have gone very different as well. They have two clear Singles players in Mayur and Tilak – you cant mess with that. Shuvankar is clearly the next best player – he will have to play with the next best player either in the Mixed Doubles or Open Doubles – it’s very predictable, they don’t have another option without sacrificing a few legs for stability but they’re hard to beat with this lineup. Dartmeisters on the other hand went perfectly balanced. With Sangam and Sayak being their Singles players and having Subhash that can float up or down while Sunanda can be a solid player up top in the Mixed Doubles – they aced this and Ditviaan took the bait.
Match 2 – Double Treble Vs Flamin Dragons
With both teams being new entrants but each one having vastly different teams lets see how their inaugural BDT campaigns get underway. Double Treble start off with the duo of Chirag and Shreya going up against the Flamin Dragons pairing of Karan and Vedika. Flamin Dragons take a 2-0 lead. Double Treble then put forth Raahat who takes a 2-0 win against Aman from the Dragons to bring the scores back at level. The pairing of Vishal and Abnish take out the Dragons duo of Sneha and Abhijeet 2-1 for a 4-3 lead entering the final crucial game. The last Open Singles sees Kumarial of the Dragons taking on Ankit from Double Treble. Kumarial gets a 2-1 victory as both teams settle for a 5-5 rubber.
Double Treble committed a crime – Raahat and Vishal are your two Singles players. Ankit didn’t have any business there in the last Singles when you even have a small doubt that he is either not in form or there is a person that can take him on. That was Vishal’s game to play. Ankit and Abnish could have given ideally the same result while Vishal should have won the Singles – different result for sure. If you can go strong in 3 different events – do it fully, don’t give yourself half a chance in two events because most of the times you might end up at the wrong side of the barrel. Flamin Dragons went with a strong pairing up top looking to take out a potential Bharti and Ankit pairing – they might have taken them out too, if they played. But they got the legs that were needed. Kumarial went in the Singles which was expected, however, in the team it’s clear who the best player is and that’s Vedika – she can float around anywhere and that gives them immense freedom in their lineups while hoping that Sneha can find a bit of her old form. And now that this is out of the way – the key player for the team is Karan though – use him wisely and he can get crucial legs or wins like how Sayak did last year for the Dartmeisters.
Match 3 – Sharp Shooters Vs The Shedsters
The auctions for both teams were at the opposite ends of the spectrum – Sharp Shooters have a clear leader and are one of the favored teams to win the tournament while the Shedsters have quite a few holes in their roster that had to be filled during the auction and wasn’t plugged. But the auction is now history, lets get back to the present.
The Sharp Shooters begin the game with a Vidhul and Asha pairing up against Puja and Sid from the Shedsters. The Shedsters take an early lead 2-0. The Open Singles saw Arjun Bhadra from the Shedsters taking out Sharp Shooters captain Kriti Chugh in a key game 2-1 and give the Shedsters a 4-1 lead. The Sharpshooters stay in contention after their duo of Farman and Jaideep beat Renu and Samir 2-0 to claw back to 4-3. The final rubber saw the Sandeep of the Shedsters take them over the line with a 2-0 victory over Deepak Jain for a final scoreline 6-3.
I wouldn’t call this a surprise victory for the Shedsters – their players did the job that was required from them but the Sharp Shooters shot themselves in the foot with their lineup. You can’t waste Vidhul in the Mixed Doubles when you choose to not take on Puja. You go head on with Kriti and Vidhul just because the two legs from Puja are crucial to the Shedsters getting a win – if she doesnt get that, the Shedsters will not be able to get those extra points from anyone else – they unfortunately do not have the team to do that. Farman will have to play a Singles while Deepak will have to stay in the Singles as well – it didn’t work out this time but it should work out eventually. You either go Farman and Asha or Kriti with a combination of Vidhul or Deepak – Can’t go with a balanced lineup when you have a team like this – the opponents are good enough to take these legs here and there and unfortunately many a time they prove to hurt at the end – can’t take anyone lightly when you’re playing a leg based tournament.
Match 4 – Flamin Dragons Vs Ditviaan
Following their draw against Double Treble, the Flamin Dragons will be looking to do well against Ditviaan who lost their first game to the Dartmeisters. The Dragons go in with Karan and Vedika who give them a 2-0 lead against Shuvankar and Priyanka of Ditviaan. Tilak brings the game back to two a piece after taking out Abhinav from the Dragons. Ditviaan duo Piyali and Shalin fall to Sneha and Abhijeet 1-2 with the game now reading 4-3 in favor of the Dragons. The final Open Singles sees Mayur of Ditviaan take our Flamin Dragons Kumarial 2-0 to give Ditviaan a scrappy 5-4 win.
Ditviaan went with the wrong lineup here using Shuvankar and Priyanka in the Mixed while they should have placed them in the Open Doubles. However, their mistake was overhauled by the Dragons also committing a similar error – With Tilak and Mayur playing the Singles – you roll the dice that and split Karan and Vedika up so that you can take the other two games in a brawl. Piyali and Shalins 1 leg cost them the game.
Match 5 – Dartmeisters Vs Sharp Shooters
With the defending champs getting off to a great start and the co-favorites stumbling for a 2nd day in a row out of the gate – how do these teams respond now? Sunanda and Mrinal tee off for the Dartmeisters against Kriti and Deepak of the Sharpshooters. Sharpshooters take the lead 2-1. Sangam of the Dartmeisters falls to Farman 2-1 to further the Sharpshooters lead 4-2. Gautam and Madhu take a game back for the Dartmeisters 2-1 by taking out Sanjay and Mihir to bring it back to 5-4 taking it to the last game. Here Vidhul of the Sharp Shooters does the needful taking out Sayak 2-0 and giving them their first win of the tournament 7-4.
The Dartmeisters went safe and didn’t play Surajit and Subash here – either they went simple against the Sharp Shooters by choosing to play the mandatory games of their roster but they are a lot more stronger than this. They went with the right lineup and the gamble was whether Kriti would come up top and Sayak taking out the final game – both didn’t work out but it was a good strategy. I was quite hot headed when I saw this lineup from the Sharp Shooters but I neglected the fact that Dartmeisters had Subash and Surajit – so yes, my apologies here. The Sharp Shooters went with the right lineup – not expecting that the Dartmeisters would not feature their best best team. However, it doesn’t change the fact that the Sharp Shooters need to play better and more consistent, confidence is key and that’s up to Kriti to bolster her team.
Match 6 – The Shedsters Vs Double Treble
The Shedsters upset the title favorites while Double Treble stumbled out of the gate – will the Shedsters continue their run or will Double Treble regain their footing. Puja and Sid start things off for the Shedsters and fall at the hands of Abhishek and Shreya in an upset Double Treble victory. Captain Vishal of Double Treble then extends the lead to 4-0 after taking out Priyanka from the Shedsters. Sandeep and Samir pull a game back for the home team beating Ankit and Chirag 2-0. The final rubber saw Raahat beat Arjun Bhadra and give the Double Treble a 6-2 scoreline and their first win in the tournament.
Alright – this game was Double Treble’s throughout – because they went with their 3 strong lineup. Puja and Sid had to win their game while Ankit and Chirag had to win their games – both upsets balanced each other out and Vishal and Raahat went about their business. The Shedsters just dont have the team to match here.
The 2nd edition of the Bengal Darts Tour has commenced and after a riveting day of matches from Group A – here below are the results from Rounds 1 and 2 –
Match 1 – Bahubali Darters Vs Dartlords
First time entrants Bahubali Darters go up against a revamped Dartlords squad in the opener. Bahubali go in with a strong pairing in Mahi Bosmia and Apurv up against Abhishek Dhanuka and Nivedita Sarkar and take their first event win of the tournament taking it with a 2-0 scoreline. Dartlords then send in captain Vikash Kothari up against Abhyudhyay of Bahubali and it’s an expected 2-0 win for the Dartlords as they tie things up at 2 a piece. Prangon and Shiv of Dartlords pick a crucial win up against the Bahubali pairing of Vinamara and Chirag 2-1 to take the lead. Bobby then comes in to finish the job for the Dartlords with a 2-0 win against Abhishek Chowdhury for a 6-3 win.
Bahubali captain – Pawan wasn’t in attendance here and that definitely had a factored in towards the final scoreline. However, if he did play the 1st Open Singles against Vikash, I dont think it would have mattered. But the ripple effect of his absence was evident with the lineups towards to end – A Vinamra would have played in the 2nd Open Singles and they could’ve walked away with a draw maybe? Who knows. Dartlords take the win despite the bad start.
Match 2 – Rockers Vs Royal Super Knights
The Rockers open their BDT campaign against the Royal Super Knights. They go in with Shantanu and Vidisha up against Abhishek and Kanika from the Super Knights. The RSK pairing take an early 2-0 lead. The Super Knights then field Dishant up against captain Vikash who goes down 2-1. The Open Doubles saw the pairing of Sunaina and Rajesh up against Nitin and Sanjeev. The Super Knights take it 2-0 and an unassailable lead in the process. In the last Open Singles event Tanmoy from the Super Knights got the better of Jolly 2-1 for a final scoreline of 7-3 in the Super Knights favor.
The Rockers are a balanced team but they either planned to avoid Nitin in the Mixed Doubles and paid for it. Cannot have a giveaway in this tournament where legs are taken into account – The 2-0’s will always come back to bite you unfortunately. Let me put it in this way – it cancels out the 2-0 that your star player can get you. So the only way you can win now is if you have the superior team overall – there are only two or three teams that have that luxury this BDT.
Match 3 – Trihoot Tuskers Vs Warriors
One of the favorites to win the tournament – the Trihoot Tuskers start the campaign against a very underrated Warriors team. The Mixed Doubles sees the Tuskers field Saubhadra and Jacky up against Arnab and Nada who take the upset win and a crucial 2-1 early lead against to Tuskers. The next Open Singles saw the Warriors bring forth Vijay Kumar Singh up against Viral Mehta. Viral gets the expected win 2-0 pulls back the lead for the Tuskers. The Tuskers then field Mudit and Srinjoy up against Sailesh Rupani and Manoj Nathani who claim a huge upset 2-0 to bring the lead back for the Warriors. The final event saw Warriors captain Avijit Dutta face off against Mukul Dhanuka of the Tuskers – Avijit gets the win and reels off an amazing upset with the final scoreline 6-4 in a Warriors win.
Alright – first off – Am not a fan of the Warriors lineup here – you cannot keep Avijit till the end. Even though it worked out for them – don’t make it a habit. You will have to go with a balanced lineup against a stronger team and hope that you get key performances from certain players while also hoping that you capitalize when the opponents stars misfire, so as evident in this game – it worked out for the Warriors. And now, where do I start – let’s keep it simple – The Tuskers will need more from their captain Mudit who was lacklustre and it was evident in the result. A good game from Mudit and the result would be different. As I’ve said before – you cant sleep on the Warriors. They are an experienced team that you will have to beat, they are a scrappy team that finds ways to win and will not give you easy games.
Match 4 – Royal Super Knights Vs Bahubali Darters
Coming off a good win the Royal Super Knights go into this game looking to add another win to their goodie bag. While Bahubali now have their captain Pawan back and will be looking to fight back after their opening loss. The first Mixed Doubles event saw Nitin and Nikita of the Royal Super Knights face off against Mahi and Apurv from Bahubali. Mahi and Apurv pull off the upset with a 2-1 win and an early lead in the contest. The Open Singles then saw Tanmoy of the Super Knights against Pawan from Bahubali. Pawan takes a 2-0 win to take a commanding lead in the contest. The Open Doubles saw Chirag and Abhyudhyay of Bahubali take on Abhishek and Pai from the Super Knights. The RSK duo take a crucial 2-0 to give the team with a glimmer of hope leading into the last event with the scoreline reading 4-3 in Bahubalis favor. The penultimate event saw Vinamra from Bahubali take on Dishant from the Super Knights. Dishant squeezed out a 2-1 win and gave the Super Knights a 5-5 draw after Bahubali had a 4-1 early lead.
Yes, talk about escapes here. The Super Knights did well to salvage a draw after a horrid start to the game. Yes, a little luck here and there and Bahubali would have their first win – a good lineup from them but missed finishes cost them what seemed to be a sure shot win.
Match 5 – Dartlords Vs Trihoot Tuskers
Dartlords will be in high spirits after coming off a good win while the Trihoot Tuskers will be looking to bounce back after a monumental upset at the hands of the Warriors. The Dartlords open things up with a Vikash and Nivedita pairing against Jacky and Raghu and manage to take an early 2-1 lead. The Dartlords then field Prangon against Viral who takes a 2-0 win and pulls the lead back for the Tuskers. The Tuskers then bring forth the duo of Saubhadra and Mukul who take a crucial 2-1 win against Abhishek and Shiv and put the Tuskers in a commanding position. The final event saw Tuskers captain Mudit Sadani up against Bobby from the Dartlords. Mudit does what is required and gives his team a 2-1 event win and an eventual result of 7-4.
The Dartlords made a key error here in their first game – Their Mixed Doubles pairing was definitely influenced by both the teams losses in the previous matches. They expected either Viral or Mudit to pair up with Jacky and sent Vikash up top only to see none of the above. Vikash lost a leg and that was always going to be crucial in the scheme of things. If they went with their same lineup in the previous game – they could have won. “Could” being the operative word.
Match 6 – Warriors Vs Rockers
The Warriors will be ecstatic after the opening game win while the Rockers would be looking to bounce back after their initial loss. The Warriors start off with Arnab and Nada up against Vikash and Vidisha from the Rockers who take a 2-0 lead. Jolly from the Rockers then takes out Vijay from the Warriors 2-0 to a commanding 4-0 lead. The Open Doubles then saw the Rockers duo of Rajesh and Abhishek take out Sailesh and Manoj 2-0 and give the Rockers an overwhelming victory with a 6-0 scoreline. The final event saw Sunaina from the Rockers take an upset victory over Avijit 2-1 and thus an eventual 8-1 Rockers victory.
As I said – the Warriors went with the same lineup as they did against the Tuskers – a balanced lineup against a weaker team (than the Tuskers) Should not happen and the result showed. They should have either gone top heavy or bottom heavy. Avijit will have to be made to contribute with early legs and should have come in the first Open Singles. Arnab could have gone in the last singles as he definitely can handle pressure when the game is on the line. Vijay and Sailesh could have paired in the Open Doubles. Yes, the Mixed Doubles then sports a weaker team – but this lineup atleast gives you a chance of a draw or a win since you’ve avoided Vikash on top. The Rockers did well to bounce back from their earlier loss. Vikash went where he was supposed to and took early advantage in the Mixed Doubles. Jolly and Sunaina did what was required of them – even though they got the wins – a leg a piece would have been more than enough. The crucial game though was the Open Doubles which they took out against Sailesh and Manoj. So yes, wonderful effort all round.
The 2nd edition of the Bengal Darts Tour is here following their hugely successful 1st edition in 2018 where team Dartmeisters held up the overall trophy. With 12 teams this time around, a changed format and a stacked field of 96 players – let’s take a look at the new format, the teams, auction results, roster analysis and the schedule of matches.
The new updated format is as follows –
Game 1 – Mixed Doubles
Game 2 – Open Singles
Game 3 – Open Doubles
Game 4 – Open Singles
Leg count will decide the results of matches.
So how does this affect the whole scheme of things? For one – the best players have lesser of an impact here. Secondly, lineups are even more crucial than ever. Finally, every “LEG” counts.
We have three new entrants – Bahubali Darters, Double Treble and Flamin’ Dragons. It’s always interesting to look at how such new teams pick their squads in a tournament where a bulk of the team owners have gone through the process of the auction many times before. Double Treble, though a new new team in the Bengal Darts Tour has been part of various club events before and this experience showed. Their auction picks were much better than Bahubali and Flamin’ Dragons as they had a plan in mind and drafted according to their needs. Yes, we all have plans and always want the perfect team and very few are lucky to have such dice rolls. However, when you do not know which player will come up when, it all comes down to damage control and dealing with multiple losses and deal grabbing at the same time.
The Dartmeisters will return to defend their crown. The Royal Super Knights make a comeback and will look to avenge their 2nd place finish last year. While Ditviaan, Sharp Shooters, Dartlords, Warriors, Trihoot Tuskers, Rockers and the Shedsters will look to start afresh after a disappointing and inconsistent 1st edition.
Team 1 – Bahubali Darters
A new entrant and their first auction – I’ll say this – they have a few relatively unknown players that can surprise you. With IDF Nationals semi finalist Vinamra Garg, upcomers in Apurv and Pawan, veteran in Chirag Kapoor and a future champion in waiting Mahi Bosmia – this team looks like it can upset quite a few rosters. In this format though – I can say that these players could win at least a leg every single game. Do keep note that legs are the prerogative here. So that’s 4 legs. You need 6 to win. Who will help them cross over that hump? I’m not sure. Mahi has performed at that level in the past but we will have to look at the rest. Also, for a rookie captain in the this format it will be unforgiving. When you’re on the fringe and hoping that your team needs to win based on lineups one mistake can be the difference between the knockout stages or an early uber ride home. They are well rounded with Abhyuday, Abhishek and Sneha that are above par supports in their own right.
Roster Analysis – B-
Experience is a key reason why I’ve given this team this rating. There are a few good players that were picked that went for steals and with 6 points wasted at the end of the auction Bahubali will have to think that they could have done a better job. There are worse teams that I have rated higher before only because you need a proven entity in a team format. They do not have that. However, I really would be interested to know if they can keep a major chunk of this team for the rest of the year. I’d like to see their growth.
Team 2 – Ditviaan
Ditviaan without “Sir” Ankit Goenka is a weird sight to behold. However, they have upped their thought process this time by going high for two marquee players. With Tilak Saboo and Mayur Nahata they can virtually guarantee themselves 4 legs of the requisite 6 needed. Who will get them the other 2? As it has been in the past – Ditviaan will need their lineups to be perfect and now they they have two players to share the load maybe it would be easier for them to get the results needed. With Priyanka, Shuvankar and Piyali they have players that can support – but can they get the remaining legs? With Swati, Nirja and Shalin to round them off, it will be interesting to see what Ditviaan achieve this season.
Roster Analysis – B
With 80% of your points spent on two players and seeing that later on there were few more difference makers that went for a lot less, I think Ditviaan dug themselves a hole to deep to get out of. Yes, Tilak and Mayur can win their games single handedly but if have to say in that corny manner “Let me take a look into my crystal ball” – I reckon, Tilak and Mayur will win their games and Ditviaan will end up losing matches. This would be a perfect team for the previous format – definitely not for the current one though
Team 3 – Dartlords
They had an inconsistent BDT Season 1 but have bounced back with a fairly good auction this time around. With Vikash leading and having players like Abhishek Dhanuka, Nivedita and Prangon to share the load. Adding to that Gautam Bhuyan, Shiv Pandit and Mayank Murarka they are stacked. They can definitely win and have performers that are on the cusp of breaking through into upper tiers. Can Abhishek and Prangon be consistent? Will Mayank be worth the 12 points they spent to get him? The team will have to perform. They can match up with the best – their lineup would be key only against a few teams.
Roster Analysis – A-
What can I say about this team that I haven’t said yet? Like many sports you have teams that are great in the season and flounder in the playoffs. Then there are other teams that sort of stroll through the season but turn on the switch in the playoffs – those are the championship contenders. Teams that turn up the intensity when required. This team honestly to me seems like a great team to have for the season. Their switch will have to be turned on every single game to compensate for their inconsistent performances. But yes, they are my Dark Horse. So far, none of my dark horses have won though. That doesn’t bode well for them. Call it the commentators curse? 😉
Team 4 – Dartmeisters
The reigning champion will be looking to pick up where they left off and they definitely do have the pieces to do well. Do they have the championship pedigree to do so though? They proved everyone wrong last year with sublime lineups and playing to their strengths with a cast that wasn’t supposed to reach the lofty standards they achieved. This just shows the level of team chemistry and auction wizardry that their ownership possess. This auction was a bit of a let down for them, though they have Sangam, Sunanda, Sayak and Shubhas. The 4 S’s are top players when they are on song but who will do the heavy lifting here? With Mrinal being an encouraging addition and Gautam a great team player they have what it takes to lead them to a championship for sure. But who will lead? Vikash did a fantastic job last season being their pillar of hope whenever needed.
Roster Analysis – A-
Don’t count them out – I’ve learned that the hard way. Can their players face the music in key matches like they did all of last season? With Sayak and Shubhas there that championship culture is something they can build upon. Will they win? Interesting question. They definitely can but if someone has a bad night, it’s curtains for their season.
Team 5 – Double Treble
Another new but experienced entrant into the BDT. They had a plan and went with it. Team Double Treble have one advantage – With Raahat, Vishal, Ankit and Bharti, they might be one of two teams that can go strong in 3 of the 4 events. They have Chirag who is a decent steal and Abnish who is a great team support. Shreya and Abhishek are relatively new but they have their team set up well.
Roster Analysis – A
They have two players that can turn it on whenever needed in Vishal and Raahat. That’s 4 legs. With Ankit and Bharti you can add another 2 legs. Basic math, they should win. “Should” being the operative word. Lineups and rotations will be key for them though against the more stacked teams.
Team 6 – Flamin Dragons
The final new entrant into the BDT has not gotten the team they required. With Vedika being the only standout player and Kumarial and Sneha being well known names but under achieving, they don’t have the teeth required to make it far in the event. With Karan a decent support and players like Amann, Vidhi, Abhijit and Abhinav rounding off the team they have put too much pressure on players who so far, have not proven that they can handle it.
Roster Analysis – C
No experience – bottom line. They might get the odd match when a team plays bad and puts out a horrendous lineup – but you’re not going to get that more than once.
Team 7 – Rockers
Last BDT they had a team that under achieved tremendously. Will they be able to pull their socks up this time? They have Vikash Jhajharia, Jolly Chanda and Sunaina Mitra – All great players and proven in this format. With Rajesh Chandan and Shantanu Das they have the support. Sashi Rathi is making a comeback to darts after about half a decade, give or take, so it will be interesting if he can make up for his drop off in form while Abhishek and Vidisha round off the team.
Roster Analysis – A-
They have the players that have proven it in the past with Vikash and Sunaina. They have a perennial Women’s player in Jolly who’s done it all in the Indian landscape. They have the lineup flexibility required do well in this tournament. All boxes are checked. They have Mohan (Maybe that why I took them down a tad) 😀 Sorry, inside joke. But yes, they should do well as they are proven players under pressure. Would I call them title favorites? Nope. Outside favorites – definitely.
Team 8 – Royal Super Knights
So yes, they did overspend for Nitin Kumar like every team has in the history of auction based darts tournaments. Now that the obvious is out of the way, weirdly they did make a team that could give it a go every single game. With players like Datta, Kanika, Nikita, Tanmoy and Dishant, who is fresh off his remarkable Champion of champions campaign they do have a dangerous team. With Vishwanath Pai who has always been under rated in this format and getting Sanjeev to round the team off they should be happy after bouncing back from spending 60% of your points on a single player. Who does that?!?!
Roster Analysis – A-
Good Problem to have – Who are the top 6 players for the team? Who do you sit? Bad Problem to have – Can the Top 6 players consistently perform to beat the other teams? Nitin will have to get another 4 legs from 5 players – If that can happen, why worry? (Now was that a slight hint that Nitin would come only for Singles) 😉
Team 9 – Sharp Shooters
Another team synonymous with picking a certain player aka Ditviaan. No more Jolly – what do they do from here. Well, they had an amazing auction and have arguably the best team in the tournament. Kriti, Farman, Deepak Jain, Vidhul will carry the load. They are the only other team that can go strong in 3 of the 4 events. With Mihir, Asha, Jaideep and Sanjay rounding off the team – it has a very well rounded roster with experienced players, up comers and a clear leader in Kriti.
Roster Analysis – A+
With lineup flexibility giving Kriti freedom to roam around while having Farman and Deepak who on their days can win games on their own, I guess the only thing that can hurt this team is a bad performance. They are one of the title favorites without a shadow of a doubt – but I want to see how they respond?
Team 10 – The Shedsters
Having Puja on your team is a great way to assure yourself of a few legs. Having Arjun and Siddartha are also wonderful additions as they are more than capable players in a team format. Sandeep Chhajer has captained a winning side and is a player who is on the rise. But Samir, Priyanka, Ratna and Renu – 4 players at 15 points when at the end of the auction, if you held tight, you might have gotten a Deepak Jain – the pressure got them at the auction and the team set up is evidence of that.
Roster Analysis – C+
They are unfortunately in position where they are not top heavy and do not have the support required. It’s an “either-or” question that has to set before and during the auction – they failed at that and now they will need their players to perform well every single night to stand a chance.
Team 11 – Trihoot Tuskers
The reason the Sharp Shooters aren’t the clear favorites to win is just because of the stellar auction this team had. With Viral, Mudit and Jacqueline leading the team and having Saubhadra, Mukul, Yatish, Srinjoy and Raghu in tow – this is a stacked team. They have players that can contribute in every game.
Roster Analysis – A+
What is the advantage that the Sharp Shooters have over them? An extra women’s player that gives Kriti the freedom to play any event. What do the Tuskers have over the Sharp Shooters? A team that can play in every event. They have the best team in the tournament clearly. They do have players that have been inconsistent in the past and that is maybe the only thing that can lead to their downfall. Title favorites – definitely.
Team 12 – Warriors
Here is a well rounded team of experienced players – With Arnab and Avijit leading the team and Vijay Singh, Sailesh Rupani and Nada being great supports. They also have Manoj Nathani, Ranjib and Veer to round of the team. I feel they are one difference maker short though of having a great team that can contend on any given night.
Roster Analysis – B+
They unfortunately do not have lineup flexibility and even though Sailesh is a great player you wish you had on your team – I feel they over spent on him big time. At 17 points you could look at taking another leading player rather than a great support. When Jacquelline, Jolly and Vedika have all gone below 20 – I hope you know what I mean. Apart from that though – they have people who are proven under pressure and have the make up of players that every other team wished they had on their roster. They should upset quite a few good teams. Can’t take this team for granted.
Who will win it all? Stay tuned – The 2nd edition of the Bengal Darts Tour commences on 7th May