PKL-5: Bengal Warriors pip UP Yoddha in close contest

Hosts UP Yoddha succumbed to their fourth straight loss in the Pro Kabaddi League (PKL) Season 5 after narrowly going down 31-32 to Bengal Warriors at the Babu Banarasi Das Indoor Stadium here on Tuesday. Star raider Deepak Narwal emerged the star of the show, scoring 10 points for the visiting side while UP Yoddha skipper Nitin Tomar's eight points were not enough for the hosts to register their first win in front of their home crowd. Both the teams started on an even note with the scoreline reading 3-3 after the first five minutes before equalling it again at 6-6 after the 10th minute. Nitin opened the host's account with a raid in the second minute before Maninder scored with a two-point raid in the third minute as Bengal led 3-1. Rajesh Narwal levelled the game at 3-3 in the fifth minute for UP before Bengal responded by sending Nitin to the bench in the ninth minute to trail 4-5. It was 6-6 after 10 minutes as balance swung in favour of both the teams. Bengal broke the deadlock to reach 9-7 after 13 minutes as Deepak scored a couple of points. Nitin had a quiet first 15 minutes for UP, scoring only two raid points. Bengal's South Korean import Jang Kun Lee scored with a raid to give the team a 12-7 lead after 15 minutes. In the 17th minute, Narwal scored three points to help UP avoid an all out and thereafter levelled the scores at 13-13 by forcing a super tackle in the same minute. Bengal inflicted an all out in the final seconds of the first half to lead 19-14 at the break. The home side began the second half strongly, scoring two points in three minutes to trail 16-19. Bengal scored only their second point in five minutes to lead 21-18 after 25 minutes. Nitin scored with a raid point in the 29th minute to help UP reduce the deficit to just a single point. Deepak brought Bengal back with a two point raid in the same minute to give his side a 24-21 lead. Thereafter the home side scored two quick points to once again reduce the gap to just a single point in the 31st minute and went on to tie at 25-25 in the 33rd minute as Jeeva Kumar made a tackle point. With five minutes remaining, the game could go either way with the scores levelled at 25-25 but Bengal surged ahead with a tackle point in the 36th minute to lead 26-25. Deepak achieved a super 10 with a two-point raid as Bengal's lead swelled to 28-26 after 37 minutes but UP skipper Tomar's successful raid helped the Yoddhas come back to square it at 29-29. In the final two minutes, it could have been anybody's game but the Bengal boys smartly edged past with some fantastic defence to get to their third win from six outings.