Pro Kabaddi League 2017 Season 5: Five talking points from Day 9 of PKL 5
Defending champions Patna Pirates remain unbeaten while Bengal Warriors win big over a depleted Yoddha side
In a clash of two teams led by players from the services, Nitin Tomar's UP Yoddha took on Surjeet Singh's Bengal Warriors. With both teams coming into the game high on confidence, it was a much-awaited fixture, especially to see how the Yoddha would cope with the Warriors' excellent defensive unit. It was a rout in the end as a depleted Yoddha side simply could not cope with a loaded Warriors team.
Former teammates faced off in the second clash of the night. Rohit Kumar and Pardeep Narwal were both of the winning Patna Pirates side from Season 3 in which Rohit was named Most Valuable Player. Rohit left for Bengaluru the following season, but Pardeep has since emerged a megastar in his own right, guiding the Pirates to a second successive title last year. And after getting the better of Rahul Chaudhari in two encounters already, he got the better of another contemporary in Rohit Kumar as the Pirates beat the Bulls 46-32 to remain unbeaten.
#1 Yoddha struggle in Rishank's absence
Rishank Devadiga is one of the premier raiders in Pro Kabaddi. Roped in by the new UP Yoddha team to lead the raiding department alongside captain Nitin Tomar, he had gotten off to a fine start. However, he succumbed to injury during Saturday's match against the Bengaluru Bulls and on Sunday was left out for the clash against the Bengal Warriors.
His absence was a huge blow for the UP team as the burden of raid points fell on Nitin Tomar. Yoddha have other raiders in Mahesh Goud and Surender Singh, but they are not of the same quality. The Warriors, marshaled by ace defender Surjeet Singh, completely neutralized the Yoddha's attack in Rishank's absence.
The Warriors got Nitin out quickly and went on to inflict an all out within eight minutes to take a massive 11-2 lead. They finished the half strongly inflicting another all out to go into the break with a commanding 22-8 lead.
To make matters worse for the Yoddha, captain Nitin was subbed off late in the first half with an ankle injury and did not return.