UP Yoddha produced an all-round performance to defeat last season’s runners-up Gujarat Fortunegiants 33-26 for their fourth successive win in the Pro-Kabaddi League here on Monday.
UP’s defensive pair of Nitesh Kumar (4 tackle points) and Sumit (High Five with five tackle points) were in red-hot form once again, aptly supported by the raiding duo of Shrikanth Jadhav and Surender Gill (both with 6 raid points).
With his result, UP have jumped to fifth spot in the table with 42 points from 14 matches.
Sachin’s return to the squad has been a vital factor in Gujarat’s improved form in the recent matches and the raider was once again influential as he secured to a two-point raid in the sixth minute to give Gujarat a slender lead.
But Jadhav immediately restored parity with a two-point raid for the Yoddha as both sides continued to trade blows.
With Monu Goyat still recovering from an injury, UP’s raiding duties had fallen on the shoulders of Jadhav and Gill, something they had so far managed to do with ease.
The latter was the difference-maker for Yoddha in the second half as he pulled off a series of successful raids to enforce an all-out on Gujarat in the final minute of the first half to open up a 7-point lead (16-9).
But the Gujarat side were in no mood to give up, and Sachin sparked a comeback with a four-point Super Raid (in the seventh minute) as Gujarat reduced the margins and forced an all-out with eight minutes left in the match.
UP’s defence was in no mood for another slip up though, and the duo of Nitesh and Sumit steadied their ship to clinch their fourth consecutive win.