U.P. Yoddhas - owned by the GMR Group - were handed their third straight defeat by Patna Pirates following a 29-34 loss in match 44 of Pro Kabaddi League Season 9 at the Shree Shivchhatrapati Sports Complex, Balewadi in Pune on Friday.
Pardeep Narwal finished as the top raider with 12 points for the Yoddhas, while skipper Nitesh Kumar registered three points from two tackles and one Super Tackle.
For Patna Pirates, Sachin (11 points, raider) and captain Neeraj Kumar (three points, defender) were the top performers.
The Pirates kicked off the action by picking up the first points of the match. This match-up was drawn to be a test of the Pirates' defence against the Yoddhas' raiding duo of Pardeep Narwal and Surender Gill. Patna Pirates - three-time PKL champions - saw their defenders keep the duo silent through the first half. Almost toe-to-toe in the half, the score read 13-11 in favour of the Pirates.
The second half saw a bit of spice thrown into the mix as Pirates' raider Sachin effected consecutive successful raids to put the Yoddhas on the brink of an all out. Mohammadreza Shadloui Chiyaneh's brilliant tackle on Gill gave them an easy chance to get one. They got the first All Out of the game to extend their lead at 19-11.
Staring at the setback, record-breaker Pardeep Narwal executed one of the best raids of the season so far to get U.P. Yoddhas back into the game. His Super Raid caught out five Pirates players — Manish, Rohit Gulia, Chiyaneh, Sunil and Sachin - to reduce Patna Pirates to just one player on the mat. Soon enough, the Yoddhas had an ALL OUT of their own and took the lead at 23-21.
The Pirates regained control of the game again and had the Yoddhas cornered and bracing for another all out. Right on the brink, Rohit Tomar's Super Tackle on Sachin drew the teams level and set up a nervy final two minutes.
Sachin's never-say-die attitude saw him pull off a Super Raid with 20 seconds on the clock and his team going in for a Do-or-Die raid against the U.P. Yoddhas. His effort not only effected a second All Out on the Yoddhas, but also handed the Pirates a hard-fought victory.