Pardeep Narwal’s late surge aided Patna Pirates’ comeback from brink of defeat against UP Yoddha as the two teams had to settle for three points each in their first game of the night in Ahmedabad on Sunday. The game between the two giants can be seen in two parts. First where UP Yoddha dominated the game despite Monu Goyat’s continuous efforts to keep the Pirates in the game. And in the other part, Pardeep stole the limelight to ensure his Patna Pirates side did not face defeat come the end of the 40 minutes regulation time. But when the referee blew his whistle for the end of the game, the score on the screen read: 27-27 – a tie.
Both teams opened their accounts with Narwal and Nitin Tomar getting a point each in their first raids. The first half belonged to the Yoddha as Nitin, Mahesh and Rishank Devadinga made eight successful raids. On the other hand, their defence also managed to keep Pirates star raider out of the mat. Pardeep could only manage to score five points in the first half. Udaya Kumar, UP Yoddha coach, said that his defenders played according to the plan. “Jeeva (Kumar) did a great job in the right corner. ”
UP Yoddha continued their dominance in the second half. It was the first time that the ‘Dupki King’ spent more time on the bench than on the mat. With Pardeep looking effortless, he was taken down by Nitin Tomar in the 12th minute as Yoddha’s took two points credit for the super tackle by the UP captain. But there was a reversal in fortunes soon enough when Patna were awarded two points when Rajesh Narwal touched the lobby line and Pardeep made the full use of the opportunity to steal three late points.
Satisfied with team’s performance UP coach said, “We can’t blame any player here. In Kabaddi, last five minutes are very crucial. Those five minutes can change the direction of the game. And it was seen in today’s game. With his last three raids, Pardeep changed the complete situation of the game.” However, Rishank Devadiga and Nitin Tomar agreed that there were plenty of mistakes made by them as they couldn’t finish with five points.”We made mistakes in the second half. We let Monu (Goyat) score easy points as our main focus was on Pardeep.”
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Meanwhile, Patna Pirates coach Ram Mehra Singh feels it was Pardeep’s slow game that helped UP Yoddha perform well against the star raider. “There have been times when we’ve played three matches on the trot and won. So we were a bit over confident. We thought we could just past UP Yoddha easily. When your star raider plays slowly and get’s tackled, the entire team feels the pressure,” Ram Singh said. “I have said this before and will once again say this that nobody can make a strategy against Pardeep. When he fails, it’s because of himself not because the opposition made a good strategy,” he added.
This was the third instance where teams have settled for a draw. The current situation of Zone B points table sees Pirates on 18 points, in second place, while UP Yoddha are third with equal number of points.