A career-high 21 points from Surender Gill and 10 from Pardeep Narwal helped U.P. Yoddha beat the Puneri Paltan 50-40. Paltan’s young raiders, Aslam Inamdar and Mohit Goyat, also recorded Super 10s, with the former scoring 16 and the latter managing 13. With this win, U.P. Yoddha extended their unbeaten run to four games and climbed to fourth on the points table.
Pardeep gave U.P. a dream start, picking up three touch points in his first raid and helping his side race to a 3-0 lead. The Paltan fought back and embarked on a 5-2 run, with their defence and raiders working in tandem to level the score.
Mohit Goyat and Aslam Inamdar proved to be too hot to handle for U.P. Yoddha’s defence, who were reduced to just two players on the mat. Another touch points for the Paltan left U.P. Yoddha with just Pardeep on the mat. The raider almost managed to pick up a Super Raid but was Dashed out by Abinesh Nadarajan just in time which helped the Paltan inflict the game’s first All Out to take a four-point lead.
The Paltan defence and Goyat added two more points to their team’s total as U.P.’s deficit ballooned to six points. With their team reeling, Shrikant Jadhav and Surender Gill stepped up to help them claw their way back into the game. Jadhav managed to pick up two touch points in the same raid while Gill delivered a Super Raid as U.P. cut the deficit to a solitary point and left the Paltan with just two men on the mat.
U.P. made short work of the remaining two players to inflict an All Out on the Paltan and take a 17-16 lead. Inamdar and Mohit continued their stellar work and helped the Paltan outscore U.P. 4-3 in the final couple of minutes of the half to go into the break with the scores level at 20-20.
Early in the second half, Gill changed the course of the game with a sensational raid. The Paltan defence closed in on the young raider, but he managed to escape their clutches with a perfect Dubki and tagged four defenders on his way to the midline to leave Pune with just a solitary man on the mat.
U.P.’s defence made no mistake in pinning substitute Vishwas S down to inflict an early All Out and help their side take a seven-point lead. Post the reset, Gill, and U.P. Yoddha continued their unstoppable onslaught. The young raider picked up a two-point raid before Pardeep added one to his tally to complete his Super 10.
Gill tagged two of the three Paltan players left on the mat to reduce the Paltan to a solitary man. U.P. Yoddha’s defence pinned down Vishal Bhardwaj to inflict another All Out on the Paltan and take a 16-point lead.
Inamdar, who picked up a Super Raid, and Goyat tried to help their team claw their way back into the game. But the Paltan’s defence continued to leak points as Gill picked up another multi-point raid to ensure his team retained its healthy lead.
Inamdar then flexed his incredible skill set, first with a pursuit raid and then a Dubki, but Gill from the other end continued to match him point-for-point to ensure U.P. stayed comfortably ahead on the scoreboard. A quick hand touch by Inamdar was followed by another two-point raid by Gill, which brought up 50 on the scoreboard for U.P.
The Paltan picked up the final two points of the game, but it was too little too late, as U.P. registered a comfortable win.
Best Raider – Surender Gill (21 Raid Points)
Best Defender – Nitesh Kumar (4 Tackle Points)
Best Raider – Aslam Inamdar (16 Raid Points)
Best Defender – Sanket Sawant (2 Tackle Points)