Pawan Sehrawat garnered 20 points in 25 raids and snatched victory from right under the nose of the Yoddhas. Rishank Devadiga became the top scorer from the Yoddhas after picking up a total of 11 raid points. On the defensive front, Nitesh Kumar and Sumit made a mark.
UP Yoddha: Shrikant Jadhav, Ashu Singh, Amit, Surender Gill, Rishank Devadiga, Nitesh Kumar, Sumit
Bengaluru Bulls: Pawan Sehrawat, Mohit Sehrawat, Mahender Singh, Ankit, Sumit Singh, Saurabh Nandal, Amit Sheoran
UP Yoddha had a massive advantage in hand before the ultimate clash began since their past few matches saw them play with impeccable teamwork. On the other hand, the Bengaluru Bulls had just Pawan Sehrawat pitching in points for the defending champions.
Rishank Devadiga inaugurated the first match of the playoffs and returned with a bonus point for his team. The following minute saw phenomenal Pawan Sehrawat pick up a bonus to open the account for the Bangalore-based franchise.
Five minutes into the gripping clash, the Yoddhas led 5-2, with the defense of the Bulls showing clear signs of a struggle. Shockingly, the champions of PKL Season 6 suffered an all-out in the eighth minute itself, which put the Yoddhas ahead by seven points.
Sehrawat, the hero of the Bulls, was unable to pick up points like he usually did. The Yoddhas' defense seemed to have read his game and was on fire. Strangely enough, the Bulls looked like they didn't prepare for such a crucial battle.
Even Rohit Kumar, who was suffering from acute back pain, wasn't able to bring much of a change in the Bulls' performance with his presence.
In a dramatic situation right before half-time, Sehrawat went for a raid in the opponent's court, which had just two men remaining. After initiating a sharp touch on the first defender, he returned to inflict an all-out on the Yoddhas but instead almost got caught.
Sehrawat barely managed to cross the mid-line and exacted an unfortunate all-out on the Yoddhas, which brought the Bulls back in the game with a bang. Upon the conclusion of the first twenty minutes, the Yoddhas edged ahead with 20-17 on the scoreboard.
After a bunch of empty raids, Devadiga kickstarted the second half with a cracking raid. In comparison to the first twenty minutes, the Bulls were better in the second half.
Exacting revenge on Sehrawat, Nitesh Kumar performed not one but two commendable Super Tackles on him and completed his High 5 in style. The superb tackles also stretched the Yoddhas' lead to seven points.
Sehrawat, who is known for scoring single-handedly for his team, spent most of his time off the mat, which put the Bulls in deeper trouble. With just four minutes remaining, the Yoddhas continued squeezing the life out of the hapless Bulls.
Soon enough, a raid by Sehrawat inflicted a second all-out on the rivals, which erased the five-point lead. He also completed his Super 10 wonderfully.
With not more than two minutes left in the match, the Bulls took hold of the lead for the first time in the match. Shockingly, the spellbinding contest ended on a tie, which then gave the two teams seven more minutes to play, with two halves of three minutes each.
Devadiga went for the first raid of extra-time and picked up two points for the Yoddhas. Rohit Kumar was also sent off the mat by the Yoddhas' defense in the blink of an eye, with just three minutes remaining.
The final half of extra-time saw the Yoddhas in a 39-38 lead. A four-point Super Raid by Sehrawat put the Bulls ahead by three points. With just one minute left, Sehrawat worked his magic and inflicted a third all-out on the opponents and almost won the match.
Ultimately, the heart-stopping match came to an end as Bengaluru Bulls defeated the Yoddhas 48-45 and qualified for the semi-finals.
UP Yoddha's coach Jasveer Singh was extremely disappointed with his team's performance. He didn't shy away from stating where they went wrong.
"I have nothing much to say about the match. It was a thriller to watch, I agree, but for the team, it was frustrating. Our defense, which put up such a wonderful performance throughout the season, messed up tonight. The pressure on the boys resulted in the loss. The Bulls were brilliant and Pawan played like a champion," he said.
When Sehrawat was asked about how he felt throughout the match, he gave all credit to the coach for believing in him.
"After suffering two back-to-back Super Tackles, my confidence level was low. However, the coach assured me and showed a great amount of trust in my game. He said, "You'll win this match for us and I am sure about it." He didn't blame me whenever I made a mistake and hence, I'll like to give all the credit of my performance to the coach," explained Sehrawat.
Rohit Kumar, who came in as a substitute in the 10th minute of the clash, explained his main role i the match.
"My only role was to make the team play a better game by avoiding unnecessary errors. I wanted to be out there on the mat for my team to help them improve the mistakes and motivate them," he signed off.