UP Yoddha inflicted a third consecutive defeat on hosts Telugu Titans with a 31-18 huge win on debut in the fifth edition of the Pro Kabaddi League (PKL) at the Gachibowli Indoor Stadium on Tuesday. Putting up an all-round team effort, captain Nitin Tomar (six points), Rishank Devadiga (five) and Mahesh Goud (four) scored raiding points for UP Yoddha, while Nitesh Kumar (five) starred for their defence line-up in the Zone B match. Telugu relied heavily on captain Rahul Chaudhari, who contributed seven raiding points. His fellow raiders Nilesh Salunke and Rakesh Kumar were ineffective, accumulating two points each.
It was Telugu's third loss in four matches so far. After defeating U Mumba in the tournament opener on Friday, Telugu fell to double defending champions Patna Pirates and Bengaluru Bulls before facing UP Yoddha.
Both the teams were locked in a tight battle. Respective captains Rahul and Nitin were quick to nab early raid points. Devadiga too got into the act.
With the score at 12-11 in favour of Telugu at half-time, it was turning out to be a match that will go down the wire.
The crucial moment of the match came when Surender Singh earned three points off a raid which made it 17-13 for UP Yoddha at the 27th-minute mark.
Nitin then earned one point to make it 18-13 before Salunke was caught by UP Yoddha as the match steered towards the Lucknow-based outfit.
Last man standing Rakesh Kumar was eliminated as UP Yoddha forced an all out on the hosts to take a 23-14 strong advantage in the 30th minute.
Later, Rahul was kept out for the better part of the latter phase as UP defender Nitesh continued to make big impact. Eventually, UP Yoddha raced to a big win on debut.