The Yoddha spirit soured high, as the determined bunch bounced back in the seventh season of ProKabaddi, registering their first victory against a strong U Mumba team in their third game of the season this time in the Mumbai leg, at the Dome, SVP Stadium.
Star raider Rishank Devadiga made his season seven debut after missing out in Hyderabad.
While the hosts were off to a dominant start, Yoddha gained the lead right before the end of the first half and did not let either the pressure or Mumba get on top, winning with a 27-23 scoreline.
UPY won the toss and sent U Mumba to raid. Shrikant earned the first touch points for Yoddha and reached the personal milestone of 250 raid points. Soon enough, Sumit got into the action with a brilliant ankle hold to tame Abhishek Singh. Sumit showed his determination, and yet again held back another U Mumba raider with another ankle hold. It was Arjun Deshwal on his do-or-die raid and the successful tackle earned Yoddha crucial point.
While the defenders looked in rhythm towards the beginning, our raiders found the U Mumba defence tough to peer through. Monu and Rishank kept sneaking points with bonuses and subtle touches.
However, Yoddha lost their review in the first half, as their challenge to keep Rishank on the mat went unsuccessful.
Our raiders eventually found their mojo, and despite Mumba recovering in leaps and bounds with super-tackles, Yoddha inflicted an all-out on U Mumba on the brink of half-time. With those three points, Yoddha took the lead by 14-12 as they headed to the next half.
Yoddha lost Rishank as soon as play resumed in the second half. But in our very next raid, Shrikant got Rishank back on the mat, getting Surinder out. Deshwal’s Do-or-die raid went in vain, courtesy a thigh hold by our captain Nitesh.
Both teams resorted to do-or-die raids for points, playing cautiously as they moved closer to the finish. Yoddha maintained the lead well into the second half, and the momentum shifted in Yoddha’s favour.
A key moment was Rishank getting Mumba skipper and their backbone of the defence, Fazel Atrachali out. As expected, it affected both U Mumba’s morale and gameplay.
Sumit put forward his A-game, getting Yoddha’s first High-five of the season. Our raiders remained consistent throughout the game, and Yoddha stayed afloat with a two-point lead with six minutes remaining.
Monu fired up towards the end of the match, bagging back-to-back points and keeping the lead intact. With Rishank, Monu and the defenders stepping up, U.P. Yoddha registered their third-consecutive victory on U Mumba.
Monu Goyat emerged as the most successful raider of the Yoddha camp, with six raid points while Sumit was the best defender, with equal tackle points. The defenders were on top of their game, gathering 13 points from the match. Monu received the Perfect Raider of the Match award while Sumit’s exemplary performance earned him the Defender of the Match award. Ashu Singh, with four tackle points, bagged the Game Changer of the Match award while Rishank’s presence of mind to get Fazel Atrachali out of bounds got him the Moment of the Match award.
Yoddha will meet Telegu Titans at the same venue on Friday, eyeing to carry forward the momentum.