UP Yoddha finished in the third spot at the points table as they outclassed Bengaluru Bulls 45-32 in the final group stage match of the Pro Kabaddi League at the Shaheed Vijay Singh Sports Pathik Sports Complex in Greater Noida on Friday. They would face Bengaluru Bulls again at Eliminator 1 three days later with the winner facing Dabang Delhi in the semi-final.
Both U Mumba and Bengaluru Bulls began the game with empty raids but the latter got the first point of the match when Nilesh Kumar tackled Pawan Sehrawat. Saurabh Nandal revived him soon and Pawan showed no mercy thereafter.
Pawan escaped from the clutches of four defenders to place his fingers millimetres ahead of the midline. Bengaluru Bulls soon inflicted an All-Out on UP Yoddha in just five minutes into the game.
Surender Gill returned the favour to Bengaluru Bulls as he picked up four touchpoints in a Super Raid. UP Yoddha coasted along the momentum to inflict an All-Out on the opposition.
With the scoreline reading 17-14 in Bengaluru Bulls’ favour, Pawan Sehrawat soon completed his Super 10. But, the UP Yoddha defenders understood his game and tackled him twice to reduce the deficit at 22-20 in halftime.
A running hand touch by Shrikant Jadhav on Amit Sheoran and a dash by right corner Nitesh Kumar on Sumit Singh narrowed the gap to one point. UP Yoddha finally surged ahead when they inflicted the second All-Out.
Bengaluru Bulls’ star raider Pawan Sehrawat got tackled thrice as the defenders came always on top whenever he ventured deep. But, the defenders and fellow raider Sumit Singh kept Bengaluru Bulls in the touching distance.
With five minutes left in the game, UP Yoddha bagged three consecutive points to extend their lead to five points. Surender Gill completed two Do-or-Die raids as Bengaluru Bulls got All-Out for the third time and see the game out of their hands. The UP Yoddha raiders utilized the full luxury of time as they won the game with a healthy margin.
Delhi play out tense draw against U Mumba
Earlier in the day, Dabang Delhi finished at the pole position of Pro Kabaddi League as they played an enthralling 37-37 draw with U Mumba. The match was a game of two halves with the host dominating the proceedings in the first one and U Mumba getting the better in the second half.
Dabang Delhi began the game on the front foot as Anil Kumar tackled Abhishek Singh and Chandran Ranjit successfully raided Rohit Balyan in the starting exchanges of the contest.
Naveen Kumar’s two-point raid in one effort kept Dabang Delhi surging ahead. His solo-point raids on Fazel Atrachali, Sandeep Narwal, and Surinder Singh thereafter and a resolute defence soon inflicted an All-Out as the scoreline read 13-6 in the opening ten minutes of the game.
Naveen didn’t halt at any stops as he galloped to pick up five raid points in his next six raids for the scoreline to read 24-13 in Dabang Delhi’s favour at halftime.
U Mumba got All-Out as soon as the second half began when Naveen Kumar completed his 20th Super 10, the most by any player in a single season. But, Dabang Delhi lost the plot thereafter.
Once Naveen got raided out, U Mumba’s defence grew in confidence and Abhishek Singh trimmed the manpower with his solo point raids in the other end to inflict an All-Out on Dabang Delhi to bring the scoreline to 29-22.
U Mumba’s defence kept their cool to bring Dabang Delhi in a Do-or-Die situation where Naveen Kumar ultimately succumbed. Arjun Deshwal took the mantle in the raiding department and Fazel Atrachali led the proceedings from behind as U Mumba inflicted another All-Out to narrow down the gap to two points.
A combination tackle on Meraj Sheykh finally levelled the scoreline with three-and-a-half minutes left in the contest. Dabang Delhi were leading by a point in the final raid of the game but an unsuccessful dash by Ravinder Pahal on Abhishek Singh tied the contest.