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Kabaddi

PKL 2021: Defending champions Bengal Warriors off to a winning start against UP Yoddha

Bengal Warriors cruised to a comprehensive 38-33 victory over the UP Yoddha.

PKL 2021: Defending champions Bengal Warriors off to a winning start against UP Yoddha
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Mohammad Nabibakhsh starred for the Bengal Warriors during their win over UP Yoddha

By

Vaibhav Borse

Updated: 23 Dec 2021 2:02 AM GMT

The PKL defending champions Bengal Warriors cruised to a comprehensive victory over the Yoddhas from the land of Uttar Pradesh by 38-33. Defending champions have begun their title defence campaign with a 5 point victory over Pardeep Narwal's new home.

Former UP Yoddha captain Rishank Devadiga was not even included on the Bengal bench against his former side. Bengal gave a surprising start to cover Parveen Satpal who was preferred over Vijin Thangadurai in Starting 7. UP Yoddha used all their key players to field the strongest lineup in the opening game of the campaign.

As it happened........

Defending champions Bengal Warriors had a great start forcing an early all-out on UP. At one time, Bengal established a 9 point lead in early minutes. But their lead was dethroned by Yoddhas who levelled the scoreline at the end of the first half by 18-18. Pardeep Narwal had a forgettable start in his debut match for his new franchise. Although the star raider managed to make a solid comeback scoring most raid points in the first half.

Bengal once again regained their hefty lead in the first five minutes of the second half. Iranian all-rounder Mohammad Nabibakhsh took initiative by tackling Pardeep Narwal and scoring a miraculous four-pointer raid to ensure another all-out on UP. Yoddhas failed to hold their heads high since this assault by the Warriors.

Takeaways from the clash

Pardeep Narwal showed a glimpse of his true colours but failed to carry forward the same in the second half. He completely lacked support from other UP raiders, especially Shrikant Jadhav whom coach Jasveer Singh had to substitute midway. The Pro Kabaddi universe was hyped up for the first match of the Pardeep-Shrikant duo but Jadhav failed to match Pardeep's performance.

Mohammad Nabibakhsh began the PKL season eight campaign exactly how he concluded the previous season. He was the joint top scorer of the match in raiding and tackles tally as well. While captain Maninder Singh (7 raid points) and his partner Sukesh Hegde (8 raid points) too did their jobs beautifully.

Bengal Warriors' corners had a poor day at work and the Abozar-Rinku duo managed to score only tackle points. But the cover defender Darshan J stepped up for Warriors when they needed him most. Darshan had only three tackle points under his name but his contribution was beyond the numbers.

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