Pardeep Narwal’s stupendous raiding in the game’s final two minutes helped U.P. Yoddha beat the Telugu Titans 39-33. The Record-Breaker managed to pick up a raid point four times as the lone man on the mat to help his side avoid the All Out and score a much-needed win.
The game was a cagey affair at the start, with the teams splitting the first 10 points evenly. The Titans pulled ahead slightly courtesy of three raid points from Rajnish, but U.P. Yoddha fired back with three unanswered points to bring parity to the scoreline and leave Telugu with just two players on the mat.
Surender Gill’s successful Running Hand Touch attempt sent one of the two to the bench, and the defence took care of the other in the subsequent raid to inflict the game’s first All Out and help U.P. Yoddha a 13-10 lead.
With their team trailing, the Titans defence stepped up and helped cut the lead to one, but a stellar tackle from Ashu Singh and a two-point raid from Gill helped U.P. Yoddha pull ahead on the scoreboard. Sumit added another tackle point to U.P. Yoddha’s tally to ensure they go into the break leading 19-14.
The Titans started the second half strong, embarking on a 5-2 run to cut the deficit to two and leave U.P. Yoddha with just three men on the mat. With his team pegged on the backfoot, skipper Nitesh Kumar shouldered the responsibility of turning the tide of the contest. He Super Tackled Ankit Beniwal before Dashing Rakesh Gowda off the mat to add three unanswered points to his team’s total and complete his High 5.
Trailing by seven, the Titans needed the inspiration to claw their way back into the game, and their defence provided it. They Super Tackled Gill and then pinned down Shrikant Jadhav to cut their team’s deficit to three. Beniwal knocked off another couple of points from the deficit with a two-point raid to help the Titans reduce U.P. Yoddha to just a solitary man on the mat.
U.P. Yoddha were staring at an All Out but managed to escape it, courtesy of Jadhav. He first picked up a bonus and a touch point to revive a player and then Super Tackled Beniwal to push his team’s lead up to five. Nitesh followed suit and Super Tackled Rohit Kumar to further push U.P.’s lead.
The Titans didn’t relent, as Adarsh T’s two-point raid reduced U.P. Yoddha to a solitary man again. But U.P. Yoddha’s resilience came to the fore again, as Pardeep picked up a touch point to ensure his team avoided the All Out. The Titans reduced U.P. Yoddha to just Pardeep on the mat two more times, but the raider picked up a raid point on both occasions to keep the All Out at bay.
For the fourth time, the U.P. Yoddha were down to just Pardeep on the mat. But with just 16 seconds left, the raider smartly let the clock run out before picking up a bonus point and returning to his side of the mat to win the game for his side.
Best Raider – Pardeep Narwal (10 Raid Points)
Best Defender – Nitesh Kumar (7 Tackle Points)
Best Raider – Rajnish (9 Raid Points)
Best Defender – Prince D (4 Tackle Points)