Patna Pirates held their own in a tense match against U.P. Yoddha to snatch a narrow 43-41 win at the Jawaharlal Nehru Indoor Stadium in Chennai on Thursday. Pardeep Narwal led from the front with 16 points, ably supported by the defence that handed Patna Pirates their first victory of the season.
But Patna Pirates started the match on the slower side, with Pardeep getting out on the opening raid after Nitesh Kumar lunged on to the skipper to open U.P. Yoddha’s account. Rishank Devadiga then joined in the scoring with a two-point raid as the score ballooned to 9-3 in U.P. Yoddha's favour.
Check out the photos from the match here.
It's here when Patna Pirates struck back with a five-point turn around led by Pardeep Narwal, that eventually transpired into the night's first All-Out on U.P. Yoddha in the 12th minute, the scoreline reading 12-11 in Patna Pirates' favour.
At the reset, Devadiga led from the front with a Super Raid, dragging Kuldeep Singh's block to the mid-line with all his might. That led to Patna Pirates' fall as they succumbed to an All-Out in just four minutes handing U.P. Yoddha a scoreline of 20-15.
The back and forth continued when they reassembled. This time it was Patna Pirates' turn as Pardeep's raids bore points like clockwork. When the scores were even at 20-20, the Patna Pirates captain had reached his Super 10, accounting for half of his side's tally at the point.
U.P. Yoddha were All-Out shortly after the second half resumed, with Patna Pirates leading 24-21. Determined to make it a match, U.P. Yoddha took the charge early in the second half.
When Pardeep Narwal went down to Nitesh Kumar for the second time courtesy a back hold, the score read 29-25. But a Super Tackle on Devadiga with a solid Jawahar-block kept Patna Pirates in the game. Albeit, with only a few men on the mat, Patna Pirates soon got All-Out mid-way through the second half, with U.P. Yoddha trailing by a slender one-point lead.
Visit the matchcentre to relive the contest here.
At the reset, the scores were soon even. A Jaideep ankle-hold then got Devadiga off the mat while Pardeep Narwal got taken out by Nitesh Kumar for the third time, the score now 36-35 in Patna Pirates' advantage. Shrikant Jadhav, who had been steadily piling up raid points, then stepped it up with a two-point raid, which included a Bonus, to level the scores at 37 each. Pardeep responded with a two-point raid of his own, pushing back Amit’s robust block all the way to the mid-line, and dragging Devadiga behind him to hand Patna Pirates a two-point lead.
Devadiga's exit meant that he would spend just over 10 minutes off the mat, his absence leaving his side without him for just over a quarter of the match. The U.P. Yoddha skipper had scored 8 points during his time on the mat, suggesting that the Patna Pirates defence had kept one of their threats in check.
The scores soon passed the 40-point barrier on each side, Patna Pirates holding the slight edge. It all came down to the final raid when the scores read 42-41 for Patna Pirates. Shrikant Jadhav, the pick of the raiders for U.P. Yoddha, his Super 10 ending with 12 points, attempted a brave raid to at least level the scores but was tackled, handing Patna Pirates a two-point victory.