Bengaluru Bulls defeated U Mumba 33-30 in the Sri Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex in Pune on Wednesday night.
The match, a tightly-fought encounter, was U Mumba's first loss of the tournament. The Bulls, who in the last match arrested a losing slide against the Patna Pirates, took revenge against the boys from Mumbai for an earlier defeat.
In this matchup, the Bulls showed that they wouldn't back down even in the face of aggression. In their last encounter against the Patna Pirates, the Bengaluru side had displayed a similar attitude, and in the end it paid off. Going into the match, U Mumba were undoubtedly the favourites as they were the only unbeaten team.
U Mumba's strategy has been to attack from the word go and it was no different in Wednesday's game. An early attacking move by U Mumba's Rishank Devadiga saw Preetam Singh of the Bulls sit out for some time.
The boys from Mumbai kept the heat up with fierce tackles. One of these saw Bulls raider Ajay Thakur lose his footing as the U Mumba defence surrounded him and stopped him from scoring. The Bulls too showed that they were not shy of defending aggressively as Devadiga was thwarted when he tried to enter their corner.
At this juncture both sides were going at each other pretty hard. Gurpreet Singh of the Bulls was given a green card as he stepped out of the playing area. The end of the first half saw U Mumba go in with a slender lead of two points as the score was 14-12.
There was no letting up on the aggression from both sides in the second half either. The Bulls fought back, even as U Mumba had the lead, and in the end prevailed in an ill-tempered half, in which Thakur was given a green card for arguing with the match referee.
U Mumba started the half well but were soon pegged back by the never-say-die attitude of the Bulls, who kept on hitting back continuously. A lot of the credit for the win must go to Bengaluru Bulls captain Manjit Chillar, who was brilliant. Late in the game, with only three minutes remaining, Chillar gave the Bulls a huge fillip by scoring LONA points. These points were crucial as they put the game out of U Mumba's reach, as in the end they suffered their first defeat.
1] U Mumba 37 points
2] Bengaluru Bulls- 26 points
3 ] Jaipur Pink Panthers- 25 points
4]Patna Pirates - 23 points
5] Dabang Delhi - 16 points
6] Telugu Titans- 15 points
7] Bengal Warriors - 15 points
8] Puneri Paltan - 14 points