Prashanth Kumar Rai was the fittest player on the mat as he outmuscled Pune defence on a couple of occasions. The brave moment of the match belonged to UP Yoddha defence who forced a crucial super tackle in the second half.
In an evenly matched contest, it was UP Yoddha who showed a lot of composure to beat Puneri Paltan 29-23 in Inter Zone Challenge Week of Vivo Pro Kabaddi Season VI. Prashanth Kumar Rai and Shrikant Jadhav combined to score 14 raid points to lead UP Yoddha to another victory. At crucial moments of the match, UP Yoddha held their nerve as they beat the home team in front of a boisterous crowd. Leading raider of the season Nitin Tomar had a quiet match by his high standards as he scored just five points.
Shrikant Jadhav opened UP Yoddha’s account with a two-point raid in the first minute as Monu responded for Puneri Paltan with an equivalent raid. The two raiders scored a point apiece in the next few minutes as both teams were level at 3-3. UP Yoddha led 8-4 in the eighth minute as Prashanth Kumar Rai scored four raid points in two raids.
It took Nitin Tomar nine minutes to open his account in the match. A two-point raid in the 14th minute by Nitin Tomar reduced the deficit to one-point for Puneri Paltan. UP Yoddha went into the halfP time leading 16-12 and holding a slight edge over Pune.
There were a slew of empty raids at the start of the first half as UP Yoddha maintained four-point lead in the 23rd minute. A super tackle in the 30th minute by UP Yoddha saw them lead 21-17. It was a low-scoring second half as in 10 minutes both teams managed to score five points apiece.
With less than five minutes to go, Akshay Jadhav scored a raid point as Puneri Paltan trailed 21-25. It looked like the match would go down to the wire but UP Yoddha defence rose to the occasion as they sent Nitin Tomar to the bench twice to quell any hopes of a Puneri Paltan comeback.
In the next round of matches, Patna Pirates will take on Jaipur Pink Panthers while Gujarat Fortunegiants face Tamil Thalaivas.