Bengal Warriors take top spot; U Mumba stun Bengaluru Bulls
On the final day of the Kolkata leg of Star Sports Pro Kabaddi Season 3, U Mumba stunned Bengaluru Bulls by snatching a 29-28 win late in the game while Bengal Warriors reclaimed top spot with a 34-20 win over Jaipur Pink Panthers.
Bulls stunned by U Mumba fightback
The Bengaluru Bulls blew the defending champions away in the first half, but were left shell-shocked as U Mumba staged a sensational comeback in the second half to sneak a 29-28 win. Rakesh Kumar gave a defensive masterclass as he amassed 6 points while Rishank Devadiga got 8 points for his team, while Pawan Kumar and Amit Rathi’s efforts went in vain.
U Mumba took an early 2-point lead by the 4th minute, but Amit Rathi got the crowd on their feet when he conjured up 4 points from his raid to reduce the opponents to just 2 men. However, Rakesh Kumar and Fazel Atrachali got Surjeet Narwal out in a super tackle. Preetam Chhillar completed the all out in the 8th minute when he got the remaining 2 players out, this giving his side a 10-4 lead.
Last season’s losing finalists didn’t stop there as they inflicted yet another all out on the defending champions with 2 minutes to go in the half. Pawan Kumar led the Bulls’ charge as they took an 11 point lead in the process. The half-time buzzer went soon after as Surjeet Narwal’s side led U Mumba 21-10.
Despite fielding a weakened side due to four of their players going for the South Asian Games, U Mumba showed their quality in the second half. Chipping away at the Bulls’ lead, Bhaskaran Edacheri’s side stood resolute against the energetic side coached by Randhir Singh and made it a 7-point game with 10 minutes to go in the match.
The gap remained the same till the 36th minute, but the Bulls were dealt an unlucky hand as the momentum shifted in favour of their opponents through their captain on the night, Rakesh Kumar. In the penultimate minute, Rakesh won a point in his raid to re duce his team’s deficit to 4 points while Amit Rathi was tackled in a do-or-die raid.
In the final minute, Rishank Devadiga reduced the Bulls to just 1 man – Surjeet Narwal, who was tackled in the resulting raid as U Mumba completed an unlikely turnaround to show their title credentials.
FT: U Mumba 29-28 Bengaluru Bulls
Bengal Warriors top the Pro Kabaddi table
Home team Bengal Warriors returned to winning ways and the top spot in style by demolishing Jaipur Pink Panthers in the final match of the Kolkata leg. Nitin Tomar amassed 9 points for his team while Girish Maruti Ernak kept a tight ship at the back for the home team. Sonu Narwal stood out inspite of a poor performance by the Pink Panthers.
The winners from the inaugural season took a 2-0 lead in the second minute, but Nitin Tomar restored parity four minutes later. Sonu Narwal took it upon himself by winning 2 points to put his team in the lead (5-4). However, in this see-saw match, Jang Kun Lee levelled the score, while Rajesh Narwal was unsuccessful in his raid as the Warriors restored their 1-point advantage.
Both the teams exchanged blows till the rest of the half as Bengal Warriors held a slender advantage (10-9) over their fancied rivals. Pratap Shetty’s team talk did wonders as his side came a different outfit in the second half.
Mahesh Goud won 2 points for the home team in the 23rd minute to open the floodgates. An off-colour Rajesh was tackled yet again by the sturdy Warriors defence while Nitin Tomar got the visitors on the verge of an all out, which was inflicted in the 25th minute to make the score 18-10 in the home team’s favour.
After a lull period where both teams swapped points, the home crowd were treated to exquisite kabaddi for the final 8 minutes. By the 35th minute, the team in blue completed yet another all out through the efforts of Girish Maruti Ernak in defence. That opened up a 15-point gap between the two teams; A stark contrast to an evenly-matched first half.
The only major action of the final half saw the Warriors’ Korean import, Lee, conjure up a super raid. The referee’s signal to end the match sparked wild celebrations in the Subhash Chandra Bose Indoor Stadium as this result meant the Bengal Warriors went top of the table.
FT: Bengal Warriors 34-20 Jaipur Pink Panthers