An 18-point masterclass from Pardeep Narwal saw U.P. Yoddha beat Puneri Paltan 42-31 and qualify to the semifinals. League-leaders and Pardeep’s former side Patna Pirates will take on U.P. for a place in the final on Wednesday.
The Paltan got off to a staggering start, as Aslam Inamdar and Mohit Goyat helped their side race to a 5-0 lead and reduce U.P. to just two men on the mat. Shrikant Jadhav’s successful bonus attempt got U.P. off the mark, but Goyat responded with a two-point raid that helped the Paltan inflict an All Out and take a 9-1 lead.
U.P. responded in grand fashion as Pardeep, Surender Gill and the defence helped their side score five unanswered points and reduce the Paltan to just two players on the mat. Sombir’s ill-advised tackle attempt on Gill left Pune with a solitary man on the mat and the defence pinned the final man down after letting him pick the bonus to inflict an All Out and bring parity to the scoreline.
Both teams added a couple of point to their total, before Pardeep flipped the game on its head with a five-point Super Raid that reduced the Paltan to just two players on the mat. Two successful bonus attempts from Inamdar and a Super Tackle helped Pune cut the deficit to a solitary point. But a touch point from Pardeep and a stellar tackle from Sumit saw U.P. inflict another All Out and take a five-point lead.
In the final raid of the half, Pardeep escaped three onrushing defenders with a sensational Dubki to pick up his second Super Raid of the night and complete his Super 10, as U.P. went into the break leading by eight.
Pune started the second half with a 2-0 run and looked on course to mounting a comeback. But a sensational Ankle Hold from Sumit and Pardeep’s third Super Raid of the night reduced the Paltan to only two men on the mat.
Pardeep’s 14th raid point left the Paltan with only Inamdar on the mat, and the young raider could pick up nothing more than a bonus before being tackled down, as U.P. inflicted a third All Out and extended their lead to 12.
The Paltan tried to claw their way back into the game, but U.P. matched them point-for-point to ensure they maintain their hefty advantage.
The game’s frantic pace came to a simmering halt in the final couple of minutes, as both teams resorted to putting in empty raids to see the clock wind down to zero and confirm U.P.’s place in semifinal 1.
Best Raider – Pardeep Narwal (18 Raid Points)
Best Defender – Sumit (5 Tackle Points)
Best Raider – Aslam Inamdar (10 Raid Points)
Best Defender – Sombir (3 Tackle Points)