By Debayan Mukherjee
Chennai, Oct 11 (IANS) Defending champions Patna Pirates edged past UP Yoddha 43-41 to get back to their winning ways in a thrilling Pro Kabaddi contest at the packed Jawaharlal Nehru Indoor Stadium here on Thursday.
Skipper Pardeep Narwal led from the front, scoring 16 points with Deepak Narwal (seven points) and Jawahar (five points) supporting him well in attack and defence respectively.
In the see-saw battle that could not be predicted till the last whistle, Shrikant Jadhav (12 points), captain Rishank Devadiga (eight points) and Prashanth Kumar Rai (six points) tried hard to continue U.P. Yoddha’s good show after recording an impressive 37-32 win over the Tamil Thalaivas in the last game, but failed.
At the end of the Chennai leg, U.P. Yoddha finished with six points from two games while Patna have five from two outings in Zone B.
Nitesh Kumar got the better of seasoned Pardeep Narwal to open U.P Yoddha’s account.
Prashanth Kumar Rai and skipper Rishank Devadiga then made it 3-0 with successful raids as U.P. Yoddha opened up a 9-3 lead before Pardeep Narwal struck form to score five points and help Patna inflict an all out on their rivals and take the lead for the first time at 12-11.
Rishank pulled things back immediately with a super raid as U.P. Yoddha regained the lead at 14-13 before fashioning an all to extend the margin to 20-15.
But the game hung on the balance as Pardeep ensured Patna go into the break with a slender 21-20 advantage.
Just after the restart, Patna inflicted their second all out on U.P. Yoddha, who had only Sagar Krishna on the mat, to lead 24-21.
Patna Pirates began the second half with a bang as they inflicted an all out to lead 24-21. The defence of Patna Pirates was marshaled well by Jawahar. Rishank and Jadhav handled the raiding duties for U.P. Yoddha as they continued to chip the Patna Pirates lead.
In the 29th minute, UP Yoddha inflicted an all out as they trailed 32-33. The last five minutes of the match were evenly contested as both teams traded raid and tackle points. Pardeep Narwal scored with a two-point raid in the 36th minute as Patna Pirates led 39-37.
Jadhav achieved a super 10 in the 38th minute as U.P. Yoddha trailed 38-39.
Jadhav made another successful raid in the last minute and Yoddha were awarded a technical point as they trailed 41-42. But Patna Pirates scored a tackle point in the dying seconds to win the match.