Kabaddi, kabaddi, kabaddi — this cry reverberated throughout the length and breadth of the country as the Pro Kabbadi League caught the fancy of all and sundry — on Sunday this comes to an end.
Jaipur Pink Panthers will lock horns with U Mumba in the final of the Pro Kabaddi League at National Sports Club of India indoor stadium in Mumbai on Sunday.
This heart-stopping tournament shall see the best two teams clamouring for glory in the finale. It is fitting that both Jaipur Pink Panthers and U Mumba should vie for the silverware in this final.
These two sides have been the most consistent throughout the tournament and fully deserve to be in the final. To add to their consistency in more than one game this tournament, the two sides have been nothing short of devastating.
Jaipur Pink Panthers in the semi-finals against a strong Patna Pirates outfit showed why they were rated so highly as the Panthers gunned down the Pirates 38 to 18.
"The most important win was against Dabang Delhi where we won by seven points, qualifying for the semis," DNA quoted Jaipur skipper Navneet Gautam as saying, "I feel this match was a turning point because the team really stepped up to the challenge and played wonderfully well under pressure, making us very confident for the ones to follow."
Gautam had a word of praise for U Mumba, but he also put forth that his Pink Panthers would be more than adequately prepared for the game.
"Mumbai have been tough competitors from day one. They have some outstanding players, but we are also well prepared and won't leave any stone unturned," he pointed out.
U Mumba started the tournament in a very aggressive manner, in the process they racked up a flurry of wins early on. They, however in the fag-end of the league stage, endured a bit of a slump as they went winless in four games. The boys from Mumbai, however, looked to have put that slump behind them as they held out for a win against Bengaluru Bulls in the semi-finals.
Playing at home will no doubt buoy U Mumba. They can take heart from the fact that Jaipur Pink Panthers have not beaten them in this tournament. In the league stage, U Mumba had beaten the Pink Panthers and tied with them. Going into the final U Mumba are aware of how good a side the Pink Panthers are, but U Mumba themselves are quietly confident as well.
"Jaipur is a very strong, well-rounded unit," said U Mumba skipper Anup Kumar. "Their defence is impenetrable and attack very sharp. Though they are a dangerous team, we are preparing accordingly for the final and are confident that we will play our best game yet to give Jaipur a run for their money."
The stage is set for a superb finale as Jaipur Pink Panthers and U Mumba are looking to go for the kill and hold aloft that trophy — fans will get their money's worth.
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