U.P. Yoddha and Tamil Thalaivas were involved in a see-saw encounter that ended in a 28-28 tie at the Patliputra Indoor Stadium in Patna on Wednesday. Ajay ‘Iceman’ Thakur lived up to his name and scored in the crucial buzzer raid to help his side tie the match.
The contest began with Tamil Thalaivas getting on the scoreboard first, but U.P. Yoddha didn’t have to wait for too long for their opening point either. Both teams looked to stay within touching distance of each other and were tied at 3-3 after the first five minutes.
U.P. Yoddha then went on to assume control of the match soon after courtesy of a few successful raids by Shrikant Jadhav and Monu Goyat as well as a couple of successful tackles. U.P. Yoddha’s charge resulted in the first All-Out of the match on Tamil Thalaivas and gave them a 10-5 lead over the southerners.
Tamil Thalaivas fought back and chipped away at U.P. Yoddha’s lead thanks to robust tackles from Manjeet Chhillar and swift raids from Rahul ‘Showman’ Chaudhari. That said, U.P. Yoddha’s defence also held firm and ensured that they kept their five-point lead intact as they went into the break with a 16-11 lead.
The second half got underway with Thakur turning on the style. The Tamil Thalaivas captain scored three raid points from his first two raids of the half to reduce U.P. Yoddha’s lead to 16-15. However, U.P. Yoddha weren’t prepared to succumb to an All-Out without a fight despite having less players on the mat.
They defended in resolute fashion and made it difficult for Tamil Thalaivas to enforce the decisive All-Out. Successive Super Tackles, in fact, opened up a 23-17 lead for U.P. Yoddha at one stage. However, a successful two-point raid by Shabeer Bapu and another Manjeet tackle finally inflicted the All-Out on U.P. Yoddha and tied the score at 23-23 with a little over eight minutes to play.
U.P. Yoddha responded with successful raids from Rishank Devadiga and Monu, but Tamil Thalaivas weren’t prepared to allow them to reestablish their lead. Successful raids by Chaudhari and Bappu cancelled out the raid points from their counterparts and set up a nervy finish with the score tied at 26-26 with three minutes left in the game. In the end, neither team could emerge victorious after Thakur picked up a touch point on the buzzer raid as both teams shared the spoils.
Best Raider – Rishank Devadiga (5 Raid Points)
Best Defender – Sumit (4 Tackle Points)
Best Raider – Shabeer Bappu (5 Raid Points)
Best Defender – Manjeet Chhillar (4 Tackle Points)