The Maharashtrian derby is always a great occasion in the Pro Kabaddi League. When Puneri Paltan and U Mumba teams met each other on the second-last day of the Bengaluru leg of the season 7, it turned out to be a fantastic contest.
An all-out was inflicted on Puneri Paltan as early as the 10th minute with the score reading 11-5 in favour of Mumbai-based team. Raid and tackle points were being exchanged after the first all-out as both teams were playing a free-flowing game. The score stood at 13-8 when Abhishek Singh, the star raider of Mumbai team was dashed out by Puneri.
U Mumba were still maintaining a lead of 5-6 points. Then, do-or-die specialist Pankaj Mohite succeeded in a do-or-die raid by eliminating Fazel Atrachalli, captain of U Mumba, who was manning the left corner. A successful tackle in the next raid by Pune reduced the gap to just four points.
There was also an opening in the defence of U Mumba with Fazel not being on the mat. But they still pulled off a tackle to take the score to 16-11. Last raid of the half was a do-or-die raid for Ajrun Deshwal of Mumbai where he got tackled and eliminated as the score stood at 16-12.
In the second half, tall and wiry Mohite sneaked under the Mumba defence in the very first raid. The Mumbai-based team were down to just four players. The lead was four for them when Mohite went for a do-or-die raid and tagged Fazel but got dashed out by other players. However, two of the Mumbai players were also eliminated due to a foul.
Soon, a successful raid by Manjeet of Pune and the tackle of Athul MS of Mumbai gave Paltan an all-out over Mumbai and the score stood level at 20-20. Abhishek Singh however was in good form and gave his team the lead again with three successive successful raids.
Abhishek got an incredible fourth successive one-point raid and Paltan were down to just three players. On top of that, they had a do-or-die raid coming up. Mohite was sent in for that but failed to beat the defence of his opponents and got tackled out. Score now stood at 25-21.
After giving one chance to Abhishek, Sandeep Narwal went in to eliminate the remaining two players of the Paltan. But those two pulled off a super tackle and the lead for Mumbai was down to just two points at 25-23.
Puneri team brought in Manjeet as substitute and he pulled off a super raid which eliminated three players. Suddenly, the tables were turned and it was U Mumba down to three players and trailing 26-25. Athul went on raid to revive his team but his raid failed as Hadi Tajik grabbed his leg and Athul's hand was just prevented from touching the line.
Soon, Fazel was also eliminated and the substitute Abhishek failed to pull off a successful raid and got eliminated, in the process conceding an all-out for U Mumba in the 15th minute. Pune now had a 32-26 lead.
Arjun got one point in his raid with less than five minutes remaining. Abhishek was now given the big responsibility of raiding again and again. Manjeet went in for a do-or-die raid and got tackled out which reduced the gap to just four points. Abhishek then got a successful raid when he pushed aside charging Balasaheb Jadhav.
Now, with less than three minutes to go, the score was 32-29 and the match hung in balance. Abhishek pulled off a magnificent raid when he jumped over the defender like a dolphin through a ring to reduce the gap to just two.
Pune was down to three players on mat and once again, they had a do or die raid. Mohite took care of that raid and scored a crucial point. But Abhishek got another point to complete his super-10.
With less than half-a-minute to go, Mohite was tackled by Mumbai captain to bring the deficit down to just one and the Puneri team down to two on-mat players. Abhishek then levelled the score and the remaining player in the Pune team decided to just run down the clock as both teams settled for a 33-33 tie on the penultimate day of Bengaluru leg of Pro Kabaddi League.