Bengal Warriors got back to winning ways after a 32-31 win over hosts U.P. Yoddha at the Babu Banarasi Das Indoor Stadium in Lucknow on Tuesday. Deepak Narwal shone in attack for Bengal with a Super 10, while Ran Singh and Surjeet Singh bagged three tackle points each in defence for the winners.
Both sides traded punches early on with the score tied at 3-3 after the opening five minutes. Maninder Singh and Jang Kun Lee started the contest well for Bengal, while Nitin Tomar and Rishank Devadiga didn’t take long to get on the scoreboard for Lucknow either.
Neither team was willing to give an inch as the half progressed but the Warriors began to open a narrow lead in the final 10 minutes of the opening period. Bengal’s raiders and defence began to establish a stranglehold of the match in the last five minutes of the half with Lee and Deepak proving difficult to contain for Lucknow.
They opened a 13-8 lead at one stage, however, a three-point raid – one bonus and two touch points – by Rajesh Narwal, followed by a successful super tackle by the hosts tied things up at 13-13. A brilliant four-point play by Deepak on the stroke of half-time, which inflicted the first All-Out of the night on Lucknow, though ensured Bengal went in with a 19-14 lead at the break.
The Yoddha started the second period with quick points in attack and defence to cut Bengal’s lead down to three points. Tomar then adopted a low-risk strategic approach of swift bonus points to be within touching distance of Bengal as the game approached its final quarter.
Just when things were beginning to look good for Lucknow, a sensational two-point do-or-die raid by Deepak after a well-executed dubki helped Bengal reopen their three-point lead in 29th minute. Not to be deterred, Lucknow responded by sending the Warriors’ biggest threat of the night, Deepak to bench with a robust tackle two minutes later.
The home side eventually levelled the score at 25-25 courtesy of a successful tackle on Bhupender Singh with seven minutes remaining on the clock. However, the visitors held their own in defence, while Deepak returned from the bench to cause consternation for Lucknow’s defence before receiving a yellow card that forced him to be on the bench and in turn allowed U.P. to tie things up again at 29-29.
It wouldn’t prove to be enough for Lucknow though as a phenomenal tackle by Bengal on Tomar gave them a one-point advantage with two minutes to play. Warriors captain Surjeet Singh followed it up with a successful tackle on Devadiga before Lee raided successfully to help his side to a slender win.
Check out our snapshots from this match here.