Noida: Bengal Warriors produced a clinical performance to beat Tamil Thalaivas 33-29 on Wednesday, while UP Yoddha lost their first match of the home leg 36-41 against Telugu Titans.
Sukesh Hegde (6 raid points), Mohammad Nabibakhsh (7 points) and Rinku Narwal (High 5 with 5 tackle points) impressed for the Warriors as they clinched the win to go to the top of the PKL standings at the Shaheed Vijay Singh Pathik Sports Complex.
Rahul Chaudhari scored seven points for the Thalaivas as they finished their woeful campaign with another loss.
The star-studded Chennai-based team managed only four wins in the entire season.
Tamil Thalaivas approached the match with confidence, having beaten Jaipur Pink Panthers in their previous outing, and opened a lead in the early minutes, thanks to Ajith Kumar and Rahul's raids.
Rahul moved well on the mat to pick up valuable points but Bengal's defence got into the game with Nabibakhsh impressing. Soon Bengal were in the lead but Thalaivas regrouped well to stay in the match.
Bengal looked like a side who had their eyes set on the semi-finals clash next week, and their lack of ruthlessness allowed the Tamil side to make a comeback and level the points. The first half ended with the scores 13-13.
Bengal Warriors stepped up their game in the second half, thanks largely to raiders Nabibakhsh and Sukesh.
Though Ran Singh pulled off a super tackle in the fifth minute of the half it was just a case of delaying the inevitable with the Warriors picking up their all-out in the eighth minute to open up a six-point lead.
Thalaivas' Ajith was in no mood to be contained though and his raids made it a two-point game soon after the all-out.
But Rinku Narwal produced a super tackle with seven minutes remaining to halt Thalaivas' domination.
Sourabh Tanaji Patil also chipped in with valuable raid points for the Warriors as they once again opened up a six-point lead with two minutes remaining.
The Bengal defence held firm in the final minutes to clinch a victory.
Yoddha suffer first home defeat
The standout performances for UP Yoddha's came from Shrikant Jadhav and Rishank Devadiga, who scored eight points each.
Rishank Devadiga also achieved the milestone of scoring 650 points in the league overall, accompanied by Shrikant Jadhav, who achieved the milestone of scoring 300 touch points overall.
The first half of the match started with Telugu Titans taking an early lead as they raced to a 6-4 lead with Siddharth Desai leading from the front for the Titans.
UP then closed the gap to 8-10 with the help of a bonus point and a touchpoint by Rishank Devadiga.
The match witnessed a neck-and-neck competition but Titans managed to get a slender 12-9 lead with nine minutes left in the half.
But, Yoddha soon closed the gap to level the score with two successful tackles by Amit followed by captain Nitesh Kumar and a successful raid by Rishank Devadiga in a do-or-die situation.
Now, it was the turn of the Yoddha as they inflicted the first all-out on the Titans with a tackle by local boy Ashu Singh. This helped UP rush to an 18-14 lead with three minutes left in the half. The Yoddha had the momentum on their side as they went into the half-time leading 20-14.
The second half looked like one way traffic as UP Yoddha inflicted the second all-out of the match with captain Nitesh Kumar tackling Rakesh Gowda to give his team a 28-17 lead.
Telugu Titans tried to make a comeback as they inflicted the first all-out of the match on UP Yoddha with Siddharth Desai scoring a two-pointer to get both Sumit and Aashish Nagar out.
The scoreline stood at 33-27 in favour of the Yoddha with seven minutes left in the half.
Things were getting really close as a super raid by Siddharth Desai, which caught Nitesh, Amit and Gurdeep off-guard, to close the gap at 33-31.
It was now the Yoddha who made a brilliant effort with a super tackle from Sumit to get Siddharth Desai to again move slightly ahead.
UP Yoddha seemed to have lost the flair all of a sudden as a second all-out on them by the Titans made sure the Yoddha trailed in the match for the first time by 36-38 points.
In spite of the valiant efforts by UP Yoddha in the end, Titans came out victorious by 41-36.
UP Yoddha now stand at 69 points from 21 matches with 12 wins, seven losses and two draws.
The UP side will now face Bengaluru Bulls on Friday at the Shaheed Vijay Singh Pathik Sports Complex.
Updated Date: Oct 09, 2019 23:32:26 IST