A win would have registered UP Yoddha’s place in the Playoffs and that’s what exactly happened at the Sheraton Grand, Whitefield, in Bengaluru on Thursday, where the Yoddha defeated U Mumba 35-28 to become the second team to secure a Playoff spot for themselves.
Back-to-backs wins means UP Yoddha end the league stage of this edition with 68 points, and find themselves at the second spot, just below Patna Pirates. Surender Gill and Pardeep Narwal again led the Yoddha attack, picking up eight and six raid points, respectively, while the whole defensive unit came out strong to stop Mumba’s pacy raiders.
U Mumba, on the other hand, had to win this encounter to keep their Playoff fight alive, but now find themselves out of contention with only 54 points earned in 21 matches. Sitting at ninth, they have one game in their hand but a win in that won’t be enough to see them through.
Yoddha started the match on the front foot with superstar Pardeep Narwal picking up a Super Raid in the team’s very first attempt. On the other hand, a missed ankle hold from Sumit rung in U Mumba’s first point of the night.
The first 10 minutes of the match saw the defence and attack of both teams bringing in crucial points. However, the Yoddha managed to keep a steady lead as the scoreboard showed 8:5 in their favour after the first 10.
The next few minutes went on a steady pace, with Yoddha’s defence and attack being mature and picking up points at regular intervals, keeping U Mumba under pressure. The unit was relentless and this led to them forcing an All-Out on U Mumba at the 18th minute to enter the half-time break leading by six points (18-12).
U Mumba, however, were in no mood to let the match go and started solidly in the second half. Their aggressive play bore fruit as they managed to register an All-Out on UP Yoddha within the first six minutes to equal the scoreline at 20-20.
UP Yoddha, as we have come to expect, commenced their own comeback with Surender’s Super Raid giving them the much-needed kick. By the 25th minute, the scoreline read 26-27, with the match having the possibility to tilt any side.
A high-octane last five minutes ensued where Yoddha’s defence sprung to life and reduced U Mumba to two men on the mat. The best part was kept for the very last raid of the match where Surender managed to take both the men out to register another All-Out. This led to UP Yoddha ending the league stage of Season 8 with a classy 35-28 victory.
UP Yoddha will next feature in the Playoffs with the opponents and the date to be announced by the league soon.