U Mumba beat Patna Pirates in the Pro Kabaddi League at the National Sports Club in Mumbai on Tuesday.
It was U Mumba's third victory in the 8-team tournament. The game was a closely contested affair as the scoreline 36-33 showed.
Skipper Anup Kumar has shown the way for the team very often in this tournament, while Shabeer Bapu Sharafuddin has been nothing short of fantastic. The two once again came to the fore and their raiding exploits proved too much for the outfit from Patna in the end.
Anup notched up 10 points, while Shabeer delivered nine crucial points. Rakesh Kumar, captain of Patna Pirates, put in an excellent performance as he tried to keep U Mumba at bay.
Rakesh and his team were doing a fine job of containing their counterparts from Mumbai. At half time, the two teams could not be separated as the score was 19-19. Rakesh, in particular, stood out with his constant attacking. The Patna skipper, in the end, had 15 points to his name; no one had more in the entire match.
Despite his terrific showing, the Pirates failed to curb U Mumba. At crucial points, the game appeared to slip away from them as there was not enough support offered to Kumar. Ravi Dalal, with six points to his name, scored the most number of points for Patna, after Kumar.
This was Patna's first encounter in the Pro Kabaddi league. U Mumba got off to the kind of start they would have hoped for and raced away as the score was 12 to 5 in their favour shortly after the start.
Nerves had clearly struck Patna as they gave away a lona or two bonus points. But Rakesh went about reducing the lead as he attacked furiously. Some good defending by Patna also ensured U Mumba could not get away. This paid off as by the halfway mark both teams were level on 19 points each.
But U Mumba regained the ascendancy soon after the halftime interval. They broke away to a four-point lead. Another lona compounded the situation and U Mumba got to a six-point lead, with the score 29-23.
The Pirates did try to stage a comeback but U Mumba held fort and saw to it that the victory was theirs.
U Mumba now lead the table with 18 points. The first leg of the Pro Kabaddi League in Mumbai ended with this game. Now the league goes to Kolkata.
1] U Mumba - 18 Points
2] Bengaluru Bulls - 10 points
3] Dabang Delhi - 5 Points
4] Telugu Titans - 3 Points
5] Puneri Paltan - 2 Points
6] Patna Pirates - 1 Point
7] Bengal Warriors - 0 Points
8] Jaipur Pink Panthers - 0 Points