U.P. Yoddha and Tamil Thalaivas were involved in an adrenaline pumping 33-33 draw at the Babu Banarasi Das Indoor Stadium in Lucknow on Wednesday. Both team’s leading raiders managed Super 10s but couldn’t guide their side to victory. Rishank Devadiga scored 16 points for U.P., while Ajay Thakur managed 10 for Chennai.
The hosts made an excellent start to the match courtesy of a Devadiga super raid that got Lucknow up and running. Chennai got their first point of the evening in the fourth minute but were finding it difficult to contain Devadiga, who was rampant in attack and was successful in each of his first four raids to give his side a 7-2 lead.
Devadiga then inflicted an All-Out on Chennai in the ninth minute to open up a 12-3 lead. The Thalaivas finally managed to send Lucknow’s star raider to the bench after a successful tackle on him in the 13th minute that made it 15-7.
He wasn’t on the bench for too long though and returned with vengeance to score a two-point do-or-die raid, which made it 18-9 for his team and also brought up a first-half Super 10 for him. Chennai did retaliate with a super tackle on him soon after to cut Lucknow’s lead down to 19-11 at the break.
The Thalaivas began the second period with a bang and swiftly bagged the first five points of the half thanks to three successful raids by Thakur and two successful tackles by their defence. A third successful tackle by Chennai in the 25th minute inflicted an All-Out on Lucknow to tie things up at 19-19.
Chennai got their noses in front for the first time in the match with a stunning block on Devadiga moments later. Lucknow regained the lead with a little over 10 minutes to spare but Thakur was causing their defence all sorts of problems, making the second half a battle between him and Devadiga.
Devadiga was tackled successfully by Chennai in the 32nd minute to make it 26-26. A crucial bonus point by Nitin Tomar in the 35thminute coupled with a tackle on Thakur a minute later opened up a two-point lead for Lucknow, making it 29-27 in favour of the home side.
A successful raid by Chennai’s M. Thivakaran shortly after followed by a strong tackle tied things up yet again at 29-29. They wrested back the lead momentarily but a super tackle on Thakur meant that Lucknow led 32-31 heading into the game’s penultimate minute.
Devadiga thought he’d killed off the game in the final minute of the match with a successful do-or-die raid. However, a successful raid by Vineet Kumar and a last-gasp successful tackle on Devadiga by Chennai meant that it ended all square.
Check out our snapshots from this match here.