Despite a good start, U.P. Yoddha were handed a 9-point defeat by Dabang Delhi K.C in Delhi. Yoddha faced the hosts at the Thyagaraj Sports Complex on Sunday and were overwhelmed by Naveen Kumar’s brilliant raids and a High-5 performance by Ravinder Pahal. Delhi dominated both the halves, finishing with 36 points on the board against Yoddha’s 27 points.

The match started with Chandran Ranjith’s empty raid, and Monu followed it up with a 2-pointer, to get Delhi’s two strong defenders Ravinder Pahal and Vishal Mane out. Nitesh also got into action quickly, getting Meraj Sheykh out with a double thigh hold.

Yoddha took the lead early on in the first half and maintained it, till Naveen levelled it in the 10th minute. Though Monu kept sneaking points through a bonus here and there, Sumit showed his skills with ankle holds, powerful raids by Naveen and lack of synchronisation between the Yoddha cost us our lead. Delhi inflicted an all-out on us with three minutes remaining and took the lead. The teams went into the break with a scoreline of 15-11 at half-time.

Delhi picked up pace in the second half and kept on increasing their lead. While Monu had secured seven raid points in the first half, his first point came 8-minutes into the second half.

Our defenders kept fetching points in the next half, while the raiders were held back by the Delhi defenders.

To shake things up, Rishank was sent in with five minutes in hand, and nine points to square the scores. He struck with two swift bonus points. However, Naveen’s intelligent raid yet again got us all-out.

Rishank emerged as the knight in shining armour, pulling off a brilliant 4-point super-raid to keep Yoddha afloat. However, suffered an injury in the process, and had to sit out for medical attention.

Monu kept on his work to bring the Yoddha crucial bonus points. With a subtle toe-touch to get Chandran Ranjith out, Monu got his Super-10, the first for any Yoddha this season.

However, Rishank-Monu’s hard work could not save Yoddha from a defeat. Though Amit pulled off a super-tackle in the last minute of the game, the point-difference was too big to cover. Guided by Naveen and Pahal, Delhi finished the match at 36-27.

Rishank’s effort deserves a special mention, while Monu’s Super-10 and Sumit’s good form will be our takeaway from the game.

Yoddha will come back to the Thyagaraj Sports Complex on Monday to face Puneri Paltan.