Bengaluru: The U.P. Yoddha produced a superb performance to beat defending champions Bengal Warriors 40-36 in Match 69 of Pro Kabaddi League Season 8 at The Sheraton Grand, Whitefield, here on Friday.
Their defensive corner duo of Sumit and Nitesh Kumar scored seven points while raiders Pardeep Narwal and Surender Gill picked up nine points apiece. The win helped Yoddha jump to fourth on the points table with 38 points from 12 matches.
Bengal were once against overly reliant on captain Maninder Singh who picked up 19 raid points in a lost cause.
The first half was an intense affair with the two teams matching each other blow-for-blow in the early minutes. But U.P. Yoddha’s defensive pair of Sumit and Nitesh Kumar was in incredible form as they thwarted the Bengal raiders. At the other end, Pardeep Narwal quickly stole points from the Warriors’ defence to put his team in the lead.
But the defending champions showed great resistance to the U.P. dominance by delaying the all-out. Maninder Singh managed a mini-revival with a 3-point Super Raid, but Yoddha kept piling the pressure to eventually clinch that all-out with four minutes to go for the interval. Their lead was immediately cut short by Maninder’s 2-point raid as the half ended 19-18 in Yoddha’s favour.
Yoddha’s defence dominated the early minutes of the second half. Sumit consistently caught the ankle of Bengal’s Maninder Singh as his partner Nitesh Kumar rushed in from the right corner. Together they were unstoppable and ensured Bengal remained on the backfoot. The trio of raiders — Shrikant Jadhav, Pardeep Narwal, and Surender Gill – ensured points kept adding to Yoddha’s tally. They got their second all-out with eight minutes remaining to open a 7-point lead.
Bengal’s Maninder Singh got his Super 10 to ensure they stayed in the hunt despite the two all-outs. He made it a four-point game with three minutes remaining but substitute Gaurav Kumar’s stunning Super Tackle on him gave Yoddha some breathing space. Their defenders kept calm in the final minute to clinch the win and leapfrog Bengal on the points table.