U.P. Yoddha settled scores with hosts Haryana Steelers with a victory on Saturday at the Tau Devilal Stadium, Panchkula as the two teams met for the second time in this season of the league. Brilliant performances from Shrikant, Nitesh and Surender earned Yoddha a 7-point win at the end of a thoroughly dominated match to post their consecutive win.
Yoddha were off to a powerful start with Nitesh’s signature ankle hold, followed by Surender’s super raid which gave us a 4-point lead. However, Steelers pulled off a super raid in their next. Yoddha maintained the lead despite Steelers hitting back, with Sumit getting into play early with his effective dashes and Shrikant and Surender striking with back-to-back successful raids. Surender completed 50 ProKabaddi raid points.
Though Vikas Kandola eventually found his mojo to gradually reduce the lead and keep themselves in the game, our defenders and raiders were on top throughout the first half. While both teams were at par as far as raid points are concerned, our defenders were certainly ahead of Steelers’ as we walked into the next half with a 15-11 scoreline in our favour.
Just like the first half, the second half started with yet another brilliant hold from Nitesh, while Rishank and Shrikant earned the side raid points quickly to increase the margin. Steelers pulled up their socks, Kandola took charge and a few silly tackle errors from our end cost us players and points, and despite Shrikant’s Super 10, Yoddha were all-out with 14 minutes to go in the second half.
Back on the mat in full strength, Yoddha again picked up pace to keep the points coming. Though Steelers came close to taking the lead, Yoddha quickly made a comeback with our captain Nitesh Kumar coming into his true elements.
Nitesh’s second high 5 of the season not only helped Yoddha ease their way to their consecutive win. Shrikant’s 11 raid points were immensely helpful in Yoddha’s crucial victory as well. Surender’s calm approach to the game and successful raids at the right time came in handy.
Yoddha will next move to start their home leg with a match against Dabang Delhi on Saturday.