U Mumba will be looking to continue their record of winning all their home games this season in the Pro Kabaddi League as they go on to face Puneri Paltan in the final league match at the National Sports Club of India (NSCI) in Mumbai on Tuesday.
The Mumbai side, owned by UTV Group CEO Ronnie Screwvala, has had a Bollywood blockbuster sort of a start in the second edition of the league, as they come to the upcoming match against the backdrop of wins against defending champions Jaipur Pink Panthers, Bengaluru Bulls, and Patna Pirates, in a matter of just three days.
Their latest win came against the kabaddi outfit from Bihar, who U Mumba defeated by five points.
Anup Kumar, U Mumba skipper, continued his stunning form in the tournament as the two-time Asian Gold medallist notched up a total of 7 points, including 6 in raids, in the match. His performance on the day earned him the Best Raider of the Match – which finished 25-20 in favour of U Mumba.
The league's highest paid Indian, Rakesh Kumar, also produced a fine display in the match, along with the consistent raider Shabbir Bapu, who picked up 5 points. Mohit Chhillar also kept his flair in defence, as he went on to bag the Inspiring Defender of the Match for the second straight time. Jeeva Kumar was also impressive on the day.
The onus is on Puneri Paltan now to do something miraculous to stop the the confidence-rich U Mumba side, as the two teams go into a mouthwatering Maharashtra derby in the Pro Kabaddi League. Paltan were defeated by Telugu Titans via a huge margin yesterday in Mumbai, as the game finished 45-24 in favour of the Southern Indian side.
Pune surged ahead 14-11 initially with three minutes left in the first half with Yogesh Hudda in form, but his substitution after a failed do-or-die raid tilted the game in Titans' favour.
Telugu Titans went into the lead immediately after the start of the second half and never looked back, before running out convincing victors.
Coach Ashok Shinde will have his work cut out to stop U Mumba's winning run. "They [U Mumba] are a good side," Shinde said.
The Pune team will be eager to see how their new recruits -- raider Mahipal, all-rounder Ravi Kumar (both Western Rly.) and defender Vijendra (Northern Rly) -- shape up on the day.
Captain and raider Wazir Singh is also expected to be one of the key men who can tilt the favour towards the Pune side during the match.
Previous meeting - 27 August, 2014: Puneri Paltan 35 - 36 U Mumba
The match gets under way at 8pm IST (3:30pm BST).
Where to Watch Live:
Pro Kabaddi League: U Mumba vs Puneri Paltan, can be caught LIVE on Star Sports.
Hindi Coverage - Star Sports 3, Star Sports HD 3, Star Gold
English Coverage - Star Sports 2, Star Sports HD 2
Telugu Coverage - Maa Movies
Kannada Coverage - Suvarna Plus
Marathi Coverage - Star Pravah (Sunday Matches only)
UK viewers can catch the action on Life OK