An all-round performance from Puneri Paltan led to UP Yoddha’s sixth defeat of the season, as they went down 38-44 in their second encounter of Pro Kabaddi Season 8 at Sheraton Grand, Whitefield, in Bengaluru on Thursday.
After a five-match unbeaten streak, this was UP Yoddha’s second loss in succession. This also turned out to be one of Yoddha’s most disappointing defensive displays to date, with only two tackle points being picked up from the attempted 20.
Surender Gill’s Super 10 was the only shining light for the Yoddha, as he ended the night with 16 raid points to his name. Fellow star raiders Pardeep Narwal and Shrikant Jadhav managed to pick up 5 raid points each.
Pune started the match on the front foot, with their star raider Aslam Inamdar picking up a Super Raid in the very first attempt of the match. Pardeep added Yoddha’s first of the night, but the starting five minutes belonged to Pune.
By the eighth minute, Puneri Paltan managed to forge an All-Out, taking a lead of 13-5 in the match. After the initial setback, Yoddha sprang back to life with Shrikant putting one successful raid after another and in the process, completing an individual milestone of 50 raid points for the season.
A great attacking display led to Yoddha forcing their first All-Out of the match and closing the deficit to just three points. Soon after, the half-time whistle blew with the first 20 minutes ending with Yoddha trailing 18-21.
Pune started the second half in a similar fashion to the first and managed to force an All-Out in the first five minutes, taking the scoreline to 31-20.
As usual, Yoddha didn’t let this pull them down and Pardeep bought them back into the match with a Super Raid, to complete a mega milestone of 100 raid points in PKL season 8.
With 10 minutes remaining, Yoddha were trailing by 11 points, but Gill pulled an incredible four-point raid, followed by a two-pointer to push Pune to an All-Out. Apart from picking up his fifth Super 10 of the season, he also lessened the deficit to just four points with five minutes on the clock.
However, a late surge from Pune led to them running away with back-to-back points and ending the match with a six-point victory. Yoddha managed to pick a point from the match, thanks to a difference of less than 7 in the scoreline.
UP Yoddha find themselves seventh on the table with 40 points from 14 matches. Once the new set of fixtures is out, we will get to know Yoddha’s next opponent.