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  5. PKL 2021-22: Pardeep Narwal shines as UP Yoddha beat Puneri Paltan to clinch semi-final berth

PKL 2021-22: Pardeep Narwal shines as UP Yoddha beat Puneri Paltan to clinch semi-final berth

UP Yoddha's win secured them a place in the semifinals where they will play league table-toppers Patna Pirates on Wednesday. UP Yoddha made an incredible comeback to win the crucial match after trailing by eight points in the early minutes of the first half.

PTI Reported by: PTI Bengaluru Published on: February 21, 2022 21:56 IST
Pawan Sherawat of Bengaluru Bulls during a raid against Gujarat Giants in PKL 2021-22
Image Source : TWITTER/ PRO KABADDI

Pawan Sherawat of Bengaluru Bulls during a raid against Gujarat Giants in PKL 2021-22

Pardeep Narwal reminded everyone why he is regarded as the 'playoff king' with an 18-point performance to help UP Yoddha beat Puneri Paltan 42-31 in the first eliminator match of Pro Kabaddi League here on Monday.

UP Yoddha's win secured them a place in the semifinals where they will play league table-toppers Patna Pirates on Wednesday. UP Yoddha made an incredible comeback to win the crucial match after trailing by eight points in the early minutes of the first half.

Narwal was ably supported by Yoddha's famed corner combination of Nitesh Kumar (3 points) and Sumit (5 points). Aslam Inamdar scored a Super 10 for Puneri Paltan but they lacked the usual raiding power to trouble the in-form UP defence.

Pune raced to a 5-0 lead in the initial minutes with the raiding duo of Aslam Inamdar and Mohit Goyat taking control of the mat.

Mohit was also good in the defence, contributing in tackles from the IN positions, as Pune dominated the proceedings. He helped Paltan inflict the first ALL OUT of the match in the 7th minute with a 4-point raid. That gave Pune an eight-point advantage, but Yoddha immediately staged a comeback with Surender Gill leading the way.

 

The star raider picked up three quick points while the defence tightened to help Yoddha clinch an ALL OUT in the 13th minute. That levelled the scores at 10-10. Narwal then completely changed the complexion of the game with a stunning five-point Super Raid. UP Yoddha took a lead for the first time in the match and Pune could not stop another ALL OUT in the final minute before the interval despite a Super Tackle by substitute Hadi Tajik.

The Iranian picked up a yellow card in the process (two-minute penalty) and Pune had to play with a man disadvantage. However, the ALL OUT wasn't the last action in the first half with Narwal picking a three-point Super Raid to give Yoddha an eight-point lead (25-17). The record breaker clinched his Super 10 in the process.

Narwal picked another three-point Super Raid as Yoddha raced to a big lead. Nitesh Kumar and Sumit also contributed from the defence as they secured another ALL OUT in the sixth minute after the restart to make the scores 33-21.

The Pune defence, especially their right corner Sombir, continued to struggle against Narwal's quick feet on the mat. Pune's Aslam Inamdar picked up a Super 10 but he was relying mostly on Bonus Points.

Pune's coach was calmness personified in the stands and introduced Akash Shinde to bolster the raiding department. He picked up five important points but UP continued to dominate with their defenders looking sharp. With five minutes remaining, Yoddha had a nine-point lead.

Sumit picked his High 5 with four minutes remaining as Yoddha looked in complete control of the match. Narwal and Surender Gill took turns to slow down the speed of the raids in the final minutes as Pune conceded defeat.