Hyderabad, December 7: Tamil Thalaivas reached their first-ever playoffs with 43-28 win over UP Yoddhas in the Pro Kabaddi League (PKL) 2022 on Wednesday (December 7) at the Gachibowli Indoor Stadium.
Narender emerged as the top scorer for Thalaivas with 10 points in the game, while raider Ajinkya Pawar (9 points) along with defenders Arpit Saroha (5 points) and Himanshu (4 points) also contributed in the winning cause.
For the much-changed UP Yoddhas, who rested key players like Pardeep Narwal among others, raiders Durgesh Kumar (7 points) and Anil Kumar (6 points) were the top scorers. But having already sealed playoff, UP could not stop Thalaivas going level on points in the table with them.
The Thalaivas were out of the blocks the quickest with Narender and Ajinkya Pawar giving them a 5-0 lead in the first few minutes. And while Anil Kumar picked up the first points for the UP Yoddhas, the Tamil Thalaivas were well and truly in control in the initial phase of play.
As the half progressed, the UP Yoddhas kept chipping away at the with Anil doing most of the heavy lifting for his side. However, the Tamil Thalaivas were doing enough to keep their noses in front with the likes of Himanshu, Mohit and Arpit Saroha providing Narender and Ajinkya with ample support.
For most of the first half, the UP Yoddhas' raiding wasn't as effective as they would have liked it to be, while the Tamil Thalaivas' defenders had a spring in their steps. By the time the players stopped for a breather, the Tamil Thalaivas led by a scoreline of 18-9.
Even though the second half started off with both sides trading points early on, the Tamil Thalaivas were in control of proceedings. With a little over 13 minutes to go, the UP Yoddhas landed their first ALL OUT of the game, and were raising hopes of a comeback as they ate into the Tamil Thalaivas' lead.
With 10 minutes left in the game, the UP Yoddhas had reduced the Tamil Thalaivas' lead to 6 points. However, soon after a time-out, the Tamil Thalaivas upped the ante once again, and marched on, making it a 13-point lead with 6 minutes to go.
Narender had already registered his Super 10 while Ajinkya too was scoring points for fun. Eventually, the Tamil Thalaivas walked off the mat with the win, and flight tickets for Mumbai.