Pardeep Narwal was once again the hero for U.P. Yoddha as they beat Dabang Delhi K.C. 44-28 in match 117 of Pro Kabaddi League Season 8. The "record breaker" scored a Super 10 (14 points) as Yoddha controlled the match from the beginning to the end.
The win helped Yoddha climb to third on the table with a match remaining in their league stages. They are now firm favourites for a slot in the playoff stages. Delhi missed out on an opportunity to go closer to a Top 2 finish with the loss. They will also be sweating about Naveen Kumar's fitness after the star raider picked up an injury in the first half.
The first half was a cagey affair with Delhi and U.P. matching fire with fire. Pardeep Narwal tried his level best to give his Yoddha team a lead only for the Delhi defenders to pounce on him. Delhi raider Naveen Kumar suffered the same fate at the other end of the match. At the end of the first 10 minutes, the scores were tied 7-7. And that continued to be the case at the end of the 16th minute with the scores again level at 10-10. The balance finally shifted when a surprising review from Delhi exposed that 3 of their defenders had followed Pardeep Narwal into the lobby without a touch. U.P. used that momentum to push for an ALL OUT and got it with the last move of the first half. The scores were 18-12 at the interval with Yoddha in the lead.
Naveen Kumar was substituted for Manjeet in the second half presumably due to an injury. The substitute was impressive with his raids as Delhi pressed hard to level the scores. But their experienced defence kept leaking unnecessary points to the likes of Surender Gill and Pardeep Narwal. The team from U.P. had a 7-point advantage after the first 10 minutes of the second half. The match continued to remain a low-scoring encounter with very few multi-point raids.
Pardeep Narwal clinched his Super 10 as Yoddha got their second ALL OUT with 8 minutes remaining. That opened a 10-point lead and the U.P. raiders slowed the speed of their raids to kill time. With Naveen in bench, Delhi lacked the raiding prowess to challenge U.P. Yoddha. Pardeep Narwal's raids helped the team open a massive 15-point lead with 3 minutes remaining. They got another ALL OUT with 2 minutes remaining to seal an important win in their race for a playoff spot.