Devadiga earns first points for UP Yoddha at home

UP Yoddha had to settle for a 33-33 draw against bottom-placed Tamil Thalaivas. In the other match, Haryana Steelers registered a 27-25 win against an erratic Dabang Delhi.

Tamil Thalaivas’ Ajay Thakur attempts a raid against UP Yoddha in a drawn encounter on Wednesday.   -  Rajeev Bhatt

Rishank Devadiga finally came into his own, single-handedly winning the first points in four games for host UP Yoddha with a 33-33 draw against bottom-placed Tamil Thalaivas in the Pro Kabaddi league here on Wednesday.

Ironically, it was Devadiga's final unsuccessful attempt that allowed the Tamil Nadu side to escape with a draw, earning the final point in the last two seconds.

Devadiga scored a massive 16 points in his 21 raids, scoring more than half of his side's points, and also contributed to the defence with a couple of impressive tackles. That the next best was captain Nitin Tomar with four points speaks volumes about Devadiga's contribution. Every time he went out, his team appeared clueless on its next move, relying almost completely on his efforts.

Every time an opposition raider came in, he looked to target Devadiga, trying to take him out of the game. Thalaivas' captain Ajay Thakur got 10 points of his own but more than the scoring, it was his composed captaincy that held his team together and allowed it to claw back into the game after trailing in the first half.

Along with Amit Hooda in the defence on the right corner, Thakur led from the front, taking the onus on himself every time it was a do-or-die situation.

Earlier in the day, Haryana Steelers kept its composure under pressure to register a 27-25 win against an erratic Dabang Delhi which paid the price for rushing through its moves and faltering at key moments.

It was more a case of Delhi losing it rather than Haryana winning the contest. With little to separate the teams, Haryana led comfortably 17-9 at half-time before Delhi fought back to level scores twice. But Surjeet' Singh's tenaciousness helped his team edge ahead in the last minute of play.

The results
  • Haryana Steelers 27 (Deepak Kumar Dahiya 7, Surjeet Singh 5, Vikas Kandola 4) bt Dabang Delhi 25 (Abolfazl Maghsodlou 8, Meraj Sheykh 6, Nilesh Shinde 5);
  • UP Yoddha 33 (Rishank Devadiga 16, Nitin Tomar 4) drew with Tamil Thalaivas 33 (Ajay Thakur 10, Amit Hooda 6, Darshan J 4).