U.P. Yoddhas - owned by the GMR Group - beat Tamil Thalaivas 41-24 in match 37 of Pro Kabaddi League Season 9 at the Shree Kanteerava Indoor Stadium in Bengaluru on Sunday.
Pardeep Narwal finished as the Yoddhas' top raider with six points, whilst becoming the first PKL player to score to cross 1,400 raid points. In defence, Sumit (seven) and Ashu Singh (six) maintained ascendancy on the mat.
For Tamil Thalaivas, defenders Himanshu (seven) and Sahil Gulia (six) grabbed the most points while their raiders struggled against the prowess of the U.P Yoddhas.
The game kicked off with the Thalaivas taking out U.P. Yoddhas' two lead raiders, Pardeep Narwal and Surender Gill, in their first two raids. Within minutes though the Yoddhas had recomposed themselves and clawed back to take the lead. From there on, the Yoddhas truly kicked on and inflicted the first All Out of the match soon after to take a 10-5 lead.
Both team's raiders matched each other step for step through the half, but the difference truly was the well-drilled and coordinated Yoddhas defence.
With five minutes of the half left, Narwal - on a DO OR DIE raid - took out Sahil Gulia and Himanshu, two of the last three remaining Thalaivas' players on the mat. This left the opponents on the brink of a second All out. The ALL OUT duly arrived immediately, and the Yoddhas went into the break leading at 23-11.
Tamil Thalaivas came storming out into the second half, pushing the Yoddhas on the cusp of an All out. Ashu Singh's Super Tackle on V Visvanath, however, helped U.P. Yoddhas avoid that fate and keep the lead intact.
Successful raiding from the Thalaivas constantly left the Yoddhas on the brink, but Ashu's constant ability to pull off super tackles meant they never lost their emphatic lead.
The Thalaivas tried their best to make a comeback, but they couldn't catch up with their opponents. The Yoddhas capped it off in the best way possible, with substitute raider Rathan getting a Super Raid to get them over the 40-point mark, and help clinch their third win of the season.