UP Yoddha produced a complete performance to beat defending champions Bengal Warriors 40-36 in Match 69 of vivo Pro Kabaddi League Season 8 at The Sheraton Grand, Whitefield, Bengaluru. Their defensive corner duo of Sumit and Nitesh Kumar scored 7 points while raiders Pardeep Narwal and Surender Gill picked up 9 points each. The win helped Yoddha jump to fourth on the points table. Bengal were once against overly reliant on captain Maninder Singh who picked up 19 raid points despite the loss.
The first half was an intense affair with both teams matching blow for blow in the early minutes. But UP Yoddha's defensive pair of Sumit and Nitesh Kumar was in incredible form as they thwarted the Bengal raiders. At the other end, Pardeep Narwal quickly stole points from the Warriors defence to put his team in the lead. But the defending champions showed great resistance to the
UP dominance by delaying the ALL OUT. Maninder Singh managed a mini-revival with a 3-point Super Raid, but Yoddha kept piling the pressure to eventually clinch that ALL OUT with 4 minutes to the interval. Their lead was immediately cut short by Maninder's 2-point raid as the half ended 19-18 in Yoddha's favour.
Yoddha's defence dominated the early minutes of the second half. Sumit consistently caught the ankle of Bengal's Maninder Singh as his partner Nitesh Kumar rushed in from the right corner. Together they were unstoppable and ensured Bengal remained on the backfoot. The trio of raiders – Shrikant Jadhav, Pardeep Narwal and Surender Gill – ensured points kept adding to Yoddha's tally.
They got their second ALL OUT with 8 minutes remaining to open a 7-point lead. Bengal's Maninder Singh got his Super 10 to ensure they stayed in the hunt despite the two ALL OUTs. He made it a 4-point game with 3 minutes remaining but substitute Gaurav Kumar's stunning Super Tackle on him gave Yoddha some breathing space. Their defenders kept calm in the final minute to clinch the win and leapfrog Bengal on the points table.