PKL Playoffs: Nitesh sparkles as U.P Yoddha shocks U Mumba, Dabang Delhi trounces Bengal Warriors

Nitesh Kumar claimed eight tackle points as U.P Yoddha beat U Mumba 34-29 in the Pro Kabaddi League eliminator 1 match in Kochi.

U Mumba's Siddharth Desai being tackled by the U.P defence.   -  PKL Media

Defender Nitesh Kumar stood out with his smart tackles as U.P Yoddha shocked former champion U Mumba in the Pro Kabaddi League's eliminator-1 at the Rajiv Gandhi indoor stadium here on Sunday night.

Mumba, the season two winner, had landed in Kochi as the big favourite to win the opening match of the play-offs but U.P. had planned its moves well and kept Mumba’s star raider Siddharth Desai in check for a major part of the game.

“We focused on defence, I would say we won the match 60 per cent through our defence,” said UP Yodha coach Jasveer Singh.

Nitesh Kumar (Orange armband) got eight points to maintain his place at the top of the tackle points for the season.   -  PKL Media

 

Nitesh, the league’s leading defender, won eight points from his 10 attempted tackles as U.P, which led 18-15 at half-time, extended its lead in the second half.

“Our defence strategy paid rich dividends and Nitesh played very well. We could not give good support from our raiding side in the league phase but this time, the raiders gave decent support to our defenders,” said Rishank Devadiga, the UP captain.

Read: How it happened

Shrikant Jadhav led the raid charts for U.P with five points while the Siddharth, who won a number of points through the back kick, topped the raid list for Mumba with seven points.

Dabang Delhi progresses

U.P will now meet Dabang Delhi KC, which beat Bengal Warriors 39-28 in eliminator-2, in Monday night’s eliminator-3. The winner of eliminator-3 will progress to the qualifier-2 (virtually the semifinal) where it will meet the loser of Monday night’s qualifier-1 in Mumbai later this week.

The winner of the two qualifiers will play the final in Mumbai. U Mumba and Bengal Warriors have now been knocked out of the event.

The toppers of the two groups, Gujarat Fortunegiants and Bengaluru Bulls will play qualifier-1 in the first match on Monday.

Results

(Eliminator-1): UP Yoddha bt U Mumba 34-29

Eliminator-2: Dabang Delhi KC bt Bengal Warriors 39-28