A collective effort from Bengaluru Bulls helped them beat U.P. Yoddha 31-26 in the second match of Day 3 in Pro Kabaddi League (PKL) Season 8’s Rivalry Week. Pawan Sehrawat scored nine raid points for the Bulls, but it was their defence that made a difference with left corner Aman picking up a High 5 (7 tackle points).
Bengaluru went into the match with just one win in six matches, but their defence was certainly tuned in for the U.P. challenge. They ensured Yoddha’s Pardeep Narwal and Surender Gill had a poor outing. Yoddha can only blame their raiders for the results as their defence matched the Bulls throughout the encounter. Nitesh Kumar picked up a High 5 while Ashu Singh and Sumit picked four points each for U.P.
Bengaluru Bulls edged a closely-contested first half that was dominated by the defences. Yoddha’s defence, especially right corner Nitesh Kumar, stopped Pawan Sehrawat from his natural game. But the U.P. attackers couldn’t compliment the good work done by their defence.
Pardeep Narwal struggled to find space against an aggressive Bulls defence who had Saurabh Nandal returning to the starting 7. The Bulls kept reviving Pawan Sehrawat and eventually his quality made a difference as he helped his side clinch an all-out with under five minutes remaining. Bharat also contributed in raids as the Bulls ended the first half on a high with the scores 19-13.
U.P. matched the Bulls blow for blow in the early minutes of the second half. The defences once again ruled the mat as the raiders found it difficult to get going. Surender Gill thought he got a five-point Super Raid when his hands sneaked out of a pile of Bulls defenders to the mid-line, but video replays showed he was short by a very small margin. Nitesh Kumar picked up his High 5 as UP reduced the Bulls’ lead to five points with 10 minutes to spare.
Bulls’ corner combination curtailed Yoddha’s growing momentum after the first Time Out. Aman picked up his High five with great support from Saurabh Nandal as the Bulls extended their lead to 9 points.
Surender Gill got unnecessarily involved in the defence, perhaps affected by Pardeep Narwal’s presence in the safest area of the mat and had to head to the dugout as Yoddha were staging a comeback. Pardeep’s movement on the mat left a lot to be desired and the U.P perhaps missed a trick by not substituting him for longer periods.
G.B. More’s presence on the mat added more steel to the Bulls’ defence as they defended their lead in the dying minutes. The win will give the Bulls much-needed confidence in their attempt to finish on top of the points table.