Jaipur Pink Panthers prevailed over U Mumba 35-24 in the final of the Pro Kabaddi League at the National Sports Club of India indoor stadium in Mumbai on Sunday.
The final proved to be an exciting one as both sides went at each other hard as they were clearly desperate to win this all-important fixture.
The Pink Panthers beat U Mumba for the first time in the tournament on Sunday and they could not have chosen a better occasion to do it. These two sides had contested the inaugural encounter of the tournament, which saw U Mumba prevailing.
Going into the final, no side could claim to be the favourite and as the game progressed it became clear why. Furthermore given that the previous encounters between these two had been tightly-contested, a similar match was on the cards, and in the end the final was nothing short of that.
It was U Mumba who started the game well as their skipper Anup Kumar mounted a raid early on and scored three points for his side. The Pink Panthers defence appeared to be somewhat nervous. They had to calm themselves down as U Mumba threatened to take a sizeable lead.
The boys from Jaipur got their act together quickly, though. They shored up their defence and mounted raids of their own. They soon took the lead with points from an All-Out as the U Mumba defence went to pieces. Suddenly, The score read 13-7 in the favour of the Pink Panthers.
U Mumba, not ones to give up, reduced the lead through Shabeer Bapu Sharfudheen as he scored two points. The score line now read 16-12.
The Pink Panthers, however, were not about to sit back and see their lead taken away. Raiders Maninder Singh and Jasvir Singh came to the party as they began attacking at will. They scored and the lead saw a considerable increase. The score line now read 27-15.
The Pink Panthers did not let up and went about attacking, as U Mumba desperately tried to find a way back into the game. U Mumba, however, were left with too much to do as the Pink Panthers held an 11-point lead with only five minutes to go.
In the end, the Jaipur Pink Panthers held onto their lead and ended up as champions. The Pink Panthers picked up a cheque of Rs 50 lakh, while U Mumba, being the runners-up, received Rs 25 lakh.
Earlier on Sunday, the Patna Pirates got the better of Bengaluru Bulls 29-22 in the third-place playoff.
Anup Kumar was adjudged the Most Valuable Player of the tournament, Rahul Chaudhari of the Telugu Titans was the best raider and Manjit Chillar of the Bengaluru Bulls, the best defender.