U.P. Yoddha’s unstoppable journey continued, as they thrashed Dabang Delhi K.C. in the all-important Eliminator 3 to proceed to Qualifier 2 of ProKabaddi 2018. Playing at the Rajiv Gandhi Indoor Stadium, Kochi, our Yoddha dominated thoroughly in both halves, inflicting two All-Out in the first half itself to cruise to a cherished win.
Rishank’s bonus in the first raid of the match earned us our first points. Sachin’s surprise raid to get Meraj Sheykh out started building pressure on them. Though Chandran Ranjit’s bonus got Delhi their first points, Yoddha were off to a scintillating start, following a 3-point Super-Raid by Prashanth Rai and a 2-point raid by Rishank Devadiga which got Delhi All-Out within first two minutes.
Back on the mat, Delhi salvaged some pride winning few bonus and tackle points. Nitesh, who was waiting for the right moment, got into action to get two brilliant tackles. Followed a flurry of successful raids, we got Delhi All-Out yet again, with five minutes to go in the half.
Maintaining a lead of more than double in the first half, we entered the break with a scoreline of 27-13 in our favour.
The in-flow of points started with the bonus point by Prashanth Kumar. Pawan Kadian, Delhi’s young raider, earned them some points in the second half but our defenders kept doing their marvelous job. Even though we were reduced to three, Amit, Prashanth and Sachin Kumar pulled off a Super-Tackle. However, Delhi eventually got us All-Out to bounce back in the game.
Delhi resorted to bonus points and Do-or-Die raids. Then came Prashanth Rai with a 5-point Super-Raid in his Do-or-Die raid. This dragged Delhi closer to yet another All-Out, which was eventually inflicted on them 9 minutes into the second half, with Rishank’s raid yet again.
The final five minutes were about maintaining the lead and Yoddha showed how to do that. Points kept flowing in. Though Delhi were close to getting us All-Out, Prashanth prevented that.
At the final hooter, Yoddha smiled through to the Qualifier on January 3, with a final score-line of 45-33. We will face Gujarat Fortune Giants for our bid to the final.
Prashanth’s breakthrough performance deserved a pat on his back, and it came in the form of the award of Perfect Raider of the Match. Nitesh’s consistency won him yet another TATA Ace Defender of the Match award. Prashanth’s 5-point Super-Raid demolished Delhi’s hopes of proceeding to the next stage and that won him the Moment of the Match award. Rishank, who played like a true leader, earning 7 points for the Yoddha, was proud to receive Captain of the Match award.