Bengaluru Bulls picked up a spirited 38-32 victory over U.P. Yoddha at the Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex in Pune on Sunday. Skipper Rohit Kumar top-scored for the Bulls with a total of 13 points but it wasn’t enough as Lucknow still sealed their playoffs berth on account of losing with less than a seven-point margin and consequently getting one point from the match.
It didn’t take long for the sides to get on the scoreboard after successfully completing their opening raids of the fixture. Bengaluru were the first to get close to inflicting an All-Out but a super tackle by Lucknow’s Nitesh Kumar swung the tide of the match briefly in favour of his side.
Bengaluru though refused to allow U.P. to get too far ahead and tied things up at 9-9 in the 12th minute. The Bulls then took charge of the contest courtesy of a few excellent raids from Rohit that helped them enforce an All-Out for a 15-9 lead. The southerners went on to extend their advantage to 19-9 before the half-time whistle to go into the break in high spirits.
U.P. started the second half with more intent and picked up a few quick points to narrow the gap. Surender Singh turned out to be the biggest threat for Bengaluru with their defence finding it increasingly tough going against the Lucknow raider as the match progressed.
Having said that the Bulls did some smart raiding of their own at the opposite end of the mat to take a healthy 29-20 lead into the final quarter of the match. Bengaluru’s defence raised their game as the clash approached its climax with Mahender Singh – who was exceptional all through – picking up his second super tackle of the contest.
Even though the southerners succumbed to an All-Out in the 36th minute they still had a 33-27 lead intact. Lucknow did fight valiantly till the last second but it wasn’t enough to stop the Bulls from getting the better of them on this occasion. However, despite the win the Bulls bowed out of the playoffs reckoning.
Check out our snapshots from this match here.