Pro Kabaddi: U Mumba demolish Patna Pirates 35-18 in semi-final
Last year’s finalists U Mumba repeated their performance yet again by beating Patna Pirates 38-15 in the second semi-final of Pro Kabaddi season 2. The team who topped the league produced a dominating performance to get the better of a resurgent Patna, who were without former Indian captain Rakesh Kumar. Shabeer Bapu and Anup Kumar ably supported Surender Nada while Deepak Narwal top-scored for the Pirates.
U Mumba have lost just 2 matches this season and none at home and it showed when they started the match with a bang by taking a 4-0 lead in the 6th minute. The first point took time to come when Rishank Devadiga returned successfully from the 5th raid of the match. A successful Shabeer Bapu raid was sandwiched between Deepak Narwal’s and Tae Deok Eom’s unsuccessful raids.
Patna Pirates captain Sandeep Narwal won his team’s first point in the next minute through a successful raid, but local boy Rishank restored Mumbai’s 4-point advantage. India’s vice-captain, Arjuna awardee – Anup Kumar, scored his first point of the match in the 10th minute and in his subsequent raid enforced an all out on the visitors in the next minute to extend his team’s lead to 9 points (11-2).
The revival did not bring about a change in fortunes for the Pirates as Gurvinder Singh was caught by the Mumbaikars while Anup increased the team’s lead to 11 points. The home team kept the pressure on and reduced the Pirates to just 3 defenders, but Rishank was caught in a super tackle as the visitors reduced the home team’s 12-point lead to 9 (15-6) after Gurvinder’s successful raid.
Just when it looked like the Pirates had limited the damage, U Mumba rallied and in the final minute of the half completed another all out on the visitors. Tae Deok Eom’s raid was unsuccessful and the MVP of last season, Anup Kumar, put Patna out of their misery to help his team lead 22-6. The half-time buzzer went soon after with the home team leading the Pirates by a massive 16 points.
Mumbai qualify for second consecutive final
Deepak Narwal started the second half with a bang by conjuring up a super raid in the 21st minute while Sandeep Narwal also scored a point in his raid as the Pirates amassed 4 consecutive points. However, Shabeer Bapu broke that stretch while the Narwals – Deepak and Sandeep were caught by the U Mumba defenders to increase the home team’s lead to 16 points in the 25th minute.
The next five minutes saw both the teams exchange points as the Patna Pirates were unable to break a resolute U Mumba defence led by Surender Nada. Shabeer Bapu was tackled in his raid in the 32nd minute while Gurvinder returned successfully as the home team were down to just 3 men. Buoyed by the vociferous home crowd, Surender displayed his strength with an ankle hold on Tae Deok Eom to win 2 points for the home team via a super tackle.
A tackle on Vijay Malik brought U Mumba to their biggest lead in the match – 18 points – in the 35th minute. With the result almost secured as the scoreline read 34-16 with 2 minutes to go, Patna Pirates won 2 more points, but the last point of the match went to Mumbai when Gurvinder was tackled in the Mumbai half. The full-time buzzer went after an empty Anup Kumar raid as U Mumba entered the final courtesy a 35-18 win over Patna Pirates.
Surender Nada scored 10 tackle points in the match – the most by a defender in Pro Kabaddi as his team set up a clash with Bengaluru Bulls to determine the winner of the second season of Pro Kabaddi on 23rd August. Patna Pirates will, once again, play the 3rd place playoff against Telugu Titans on the same day.
Man of the match: Surender Nada