UP Yoddha’s rock-solid defence, ably supported by Pardeep Narwal and Surender Gill helped the team post a 40-36 win against Pro Kabaddi defending champions Bengal Warriors at the Sheraton Grand, Whitefield in Bengaluru on Friday.

Pardeep and Surender were UP Yoddha’s top raiders with nine raid points each. Sumit earned four tackle points and Nitesh got three to lead the defence department. UP Yoddha scored 12 tackle points overall to the Warriors’ four.

Incidentally, all four of Sumit’s tackle points were ankle holds that saw Maninder Singh off the mat. 

Despite consistently being off the mat, Maninder Singh was the top raider for the Bengal Warriors with 19 raid points. Abozar Mighani and Ran Singh pocketed two tackle points each.

UP Yoddha and Bengal Warriors scored at par initially, moving to 4-all, with Maninder Singh back on the bench twice in the first six minutes of the game. 

All four UP Yoddha defenders, Nitesh, Sumit, Ashu and Shubham claimed points, along with three consecutive successful raids from Pardeep Narwal to help UP Yoddha go up 9-6 with only Ravindra Kumawat left on the Warriors’ side. 

The Bengal Warriors avoided an all-out from being down to one man twice, which included a super raid from Maninder Singh that took the team up 11-10. 

However, a Pardeep Narwal raid took out the two remaining men on the Bengal Warriors’ side of the mat to go up 16-15 and induce their first all-out of the match. 

UP Yoddha ended the first half with a one-point lead at 19-18, but the Warriors came back well soon enough, going up 20-19. 

Riding on Sumit’s two tackle holds on Maninder Singh, and with Shrikant Jadhav’s multi-point raid, UP Yoddha managed to climb back to a 25-23 lead, before extending it to 30-23 while inflicting a second all-out on the Warriors. 

The gap between the teams widened with UP Yoddha leading 36-28 with five minutes on the clock. Quick points from Maninder Singh closed the gap to 38-34 for the Warriors while pushing UP Yoddha down to three men with two minutes to go. 

However, a super tackle from UP Yoddha initiated by substitute Gaurav took the team to 40 points, and with less than a minute to go, the Warriors could manage to only get to 36. 

With this win, the teams essentially have switched places with UP Yoddha moving up the fourth position on the PKL standings with 38 points in 12 games. 

On a five-match undefeated streak, UP Yoddha will next play Haryana Steelers on Sunday.