UP Yoddha produced a defensive master class to outfox Bengal Warriors 32-29 in a Pro Kabaddi League (PKL) match at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium in Bengaluru on Sunday. Nitesh Kumar, with a High 5, was the star in UP’s defence as it tackled Season 7’s best raiding unit out of the match.
Monu Goyat’s absence in the team meant the raiding duties fell in the hands of an out-of-form Rishank Devadiga and the raider once again struggled to impress on the mat. Both teams traded blows with the defenders and Yoddha captain Nitesh Kumar raced to a High 5, which included two Super Tackles. The first-half ended with the Bengal side leading 13-12.
AS IT HAPPENED| Bulls defeat Thalaivas; UP inches past Bengal
The UP side had the momentum with it in the early minutes of the second half. Shrikant Jadhav produced an important two-point raid, taking out Rinku Narwal and K Prapanjan in the third minute and the Yoddha went on to seal an All-Out in the 6th minute of the half to move to a two-point lead at 19-17.
UP’s defensive pair of Nitesh Kumar and Sumit were in outstanding form, not allowing Maninder and Prapanjan a chance to pick up points while at the other end Baldev Singh, who secured a High 5, and Rinku Narwal were equally impressive for the Warriors’ defence.
UP moved to a three-point lead with less than three minutes remaining after Bengal tried to play on the do-or-die situations. The defence ensured it remained focused to see UP Yoddha through to an important victory, thereby avenging its 31-point defeat earlier in the season.
In the second match of the evening, a sensational '17-point' performance from Pawan Sehrawat led Bengaluru Bulls to a 33-27 win over Tamil Thalaivas. Left-corner Amit Sheoran, too, had a night to remember, finishing with a well-deserved High-5. This was, finally, the Bulls’ first victory at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium in over three years.
After the all-out was inflicted by Bengaluru in the second-half, Thalaivas were trailing by nine points but they managed to bring the deficit under seven and earn a point. However, it was the home side who emerged victorious and moved up to third spot in the PKL season 7 points table.
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