Mumbai franchise U Mumba have got off to the best possible start in the Pro Kabaddi League, recording their second straight win of the tournament at the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Stadium at National Sports Club Of India (NSCI) yesterday. They beat Bengal Warriors 36-25 and are joint leaders with Bengaluru Bulls who beat Puneri Paltan 40-37.
A U Mumba player being tackled by Bengal Warriors players during their match yesterday. Pic/Satyajit Desai
U Mumba led by a solitary point 14-13, at the end of the first half but a far improved showing in the remainder of the game saw they romp home in style. Shabeer Bapu Sharfudeen was the star for the hosts with 15 points while Anup Kumar contributed 4.
Earlier, the Bulls registered a scintillating come-from-behind win over Paltan. Pune led 23-21 in the first half courtesy their skipper Wazir Singh who had 14 raids through which he earned 11 points.
Keeping their cool
The Bengaluru team, nevertheless, kept their cool and started attacking in the second half, with Ajay Thakur leading from the front with his aggressive raiding and equalised at 29-29.
Thakur’s raids combined with some effective defence from team-mate Dharmaraj Cheralathan ensured that the Bulls were leading 37-32 with seven minutes to go.
Pune tried hard to close the gap but were trailing by 5 points with a minute left.
Thakur won the best raider of the match award thanks to his 10 successful raids off 20 attempts. The raids yielded him 15 points.