Friday night brought U.P. Yoddha yet another win as UP Yoddha defeated three-time champions Patna Pirates convincingly. Playing their last match of the Bengaluru leg at Sree Kanteerava Stadium, UP started off on a high note, pulling off an all-out over the Pirates within seven minutes and entered the second half with a two-point lead. With captain Nitesh Kumar, raiders Shrikant Jadhav and Surender Gill stepping up in the next half, Yoddha extended their lead by 12 points by the end of the match.
Though Sumit’s passionate attempt to stop Pardeep in his very first raid wet in vain, that was the only point Yoddha gave away till the seventh minute of the half. Shrikant Jadhav started his night with a 2-point raid, earning Yoddha lead early. Our defenders kept Narwal from scoring, while Shrikant and Surender Gill started their work early bagging touch points and eliminating one Pirate after another. By the seventh minute, Yoddha inflicted all-out with a lead of 9-2.
Rishank, who is still recovering from his injury, yet again guided the team while earning touch and even tackle points. Yoddha kept snowballing the lead and were ahead by 15-5 at the 12th minute. However, from being close to yet another all-out, Monu and Hadi Oshtorak pulled off a couple of Super-tackles which left Yoddha with just Sumit on the mat as the first half ended with a 16-14 scoreline, in our favour.
Yoddha were handed their first all-out as soon as the second half started, as Narwal got Sumit out. Yoddha were back on the mat in full strength, but Narwal and Pirates’ defenders staged a comeback at this point. Fearing yet another all-out, a young Ankush was sent in. Just like his previous appearance, Ankush remained effective yet again at the time of need. After Yoddha failed to register any points for a span of five minutes, Ankush’s raid not only earned the point that helped the scoreboard move but get rid of Ashish as well. However, the turning point has to be our skipper Nitesh Kumar’s super-tackle at the seventh minute of the second half. Holding back Narwal in his do-or-die raid, Nitesh completed his consecutive High-5, boosting the team’s morale. From trailing by two points, Yoddha had now levelled the scores with Pirates.
Surender Gill earned and established Yoddha’s lead at this point, with two touch points and a tackle point. Nitesh’s super-tackle and Surender’s repeated strike left only two Pirates on the mat. With a two-point raid, Surender soon got rid of them to hand our opponents their second all-out. We attained a 6-point lead from here, which kept the Pirates under pressure.
Despite Narwal’s super-10, Pirates were unable to recover. Shrikant and Ankush gathered even more points for Yoddha, and defenders kept the Patna raiders away from points. With two minutes left for the match to end, Shrikant registered his second super-10 of the season. As the final whistle went off, Yoddha cruised to a 41-29 victory.