The contest between UP Yoddha and Patna Pirates was one of the most thrilling matches in Pro Kabaddi League 2021 so far. The Yoddhas' went past the men in green 36-35 via the final raid of the match.
The entire 40 minutes of Kabaddi action was headlined by four super tackles on Pardeep Narwal by the Patna Pirates defence and the Dubki King's return to form against his former side, with 12 raid points.
The match kept swinging like a pendulum before the Patna Pirates from the brink of an all-out took a 20-17 lead at halftime, courtesy multiple super tackles on Narwal.
But, the Yoddha refused to budge. They replied to five super tackles from Pirates with two of their own before wiping them off the mat to take a 30-26 lead with just 10 minutes left in the match.
It did look like the match was completely turning into the favour of UP Yoddha, however, some quick successful raids from Patna's newly appointed captain Prashanth Kumar Rai kept them alive in the contest.
The Pirates were trailing 34-35 and had the raid with five seconds to go in the match. They decided to play it smart.
Prashanth Rai went in for a quick empty raid and returned back with one second left in the clock. UP were forced to put the final raid of the match – that too a do-or-die.
It was quick thinking from the captain of the Pirates' ship. He calculated that both Pardeep Narwal and Srikanth Jadhav were off the court. The do-or-die raid was their best bet at levelling the scores and walking away with a tie.
The pressure was firmly on UP Yoddha to make sure they do not mess this up and the onus fell on a less fancied Surender Gill to make sure he returns with a point and ensure his team walked away with a win.
Until then, Gill had managed to get only two points in nine raids he had put in the match. He was clearly the underdog.
He walked in calmly for the raid. For some strange reason, the Pirates defence allowed him to cross the baulk line. Probably, because it was a do-or-die raid. Just merely crossing the white line would not give Gill and Yoddha the desired result.
But, then came a brain fade, from the Patna Pirates defence.
They allowed Surender Gill to comfortably cross the bonus line as well. Gill happily did it and decided not to move an inch.
It was as if Surender Gill wanted the defence to take him down. The Patna Pirates defence obliged and tackled him rather easily.
They have won the much important point and have tied the match, or so the Pirates thought. But, the umpire ruled 'Bonus to Yoddha, 1 Point to Pirates.'
The replay showed Surender Gill had comfortably crossed the bonus line. There could not have been an easier bonus he had pocketed in his career, quipped the commentators.
The Patna Pirates wanted to outclass the UP Yoddha with some quick calculation, however, Surender Gill with his one move outsmarted the entire men in green contingent and helped his team walk away with a 36-35 victory.