Star Sports Pro Kabaddi: U Mumba, Bengaluru Bulls win on opening day
Day 1 of Star Sports Pro Kabaddi was set up to be a cracker with 2 exciting games in store for the fans. Bollywood star Aamir Khan began the proceedings with a rendition of the national anthem in Vizag. Home side Telugu Titans faced defending champions U Mumba in the opening match, while Bengaluru Bulls went head on with Dabang Delhi.
Anup Kumar won the first point of the match in the first minute itself, but Rahul Chaudhari, in a do or die raid, levelled the score. Both the teams exchanged points till the 12th minute as the scores were tied at 5-5, before the visitors put their foot on the pedal and ran away with the lead.
Anup Kumar scored a couple of points in a rather ambitious raid, while Prashant Rai was held in the Mumbai half as U Mumba led 9-5 after 15 minutes. The home team reduced their deficit to just 2 points with a minute to go in the half, but Rishank Devadiga was having none of it. The young raider reduced the team in yellow to 4 men, before inflicting an all out on them with a super raid right before the buzzer sounded.
HT: Telugu Titans 8-18 U Mumba
The second half started the same way the first ended, with the defending champions going on a 3-point run to increase their lead to 13 points. The Titans chipped away at the visitors’ lead and made it a 10-point game with as many minutes to go before Rishank increased his team’s lead to 12 points.
However, the crowd were not going to let their team end the match with a whimper. They cheered their team on and buoyed by an energetic Sukesh Hegde, the team in yellow staged a remarkable comeback. Down by 12 points with less than 4 minutes to go, Rahul and Sukesh combined to reduce the visitors to just 1 man, who was caught in the resulting raid as the visitors suffered an all out. The scorecard now read Telugu Titans 22-27 U Mumba with 2 minutes to go.
The next raid saw Sukesh score 2 more points as the home crowd went wild in anticipation of a home win. But, U Mumba used their experience well and Vishal Mane sacrificed himself in the final raid to ensure they started their campaign with a win.
FT: Telugu Titans 25-27 U Mumba
Bengaluru Bulls dominate Dabang Delhi
After an exhilirating end to the season opener, it was the turn of last season’s finalists, Bengaluru Bulls to take on Dabang Delhi. It was a ‘full charge maadi’ start by Bengaluru Bulls as captain Surjeet Narwal and Amit Rathi charged through the Delhi defence, inflicting an all out in just 4 minutes as they took a 9-0 lead! The new-look Bengaluru Bulls, under the guidance of Randhir Singh, were working in tandem while the Eagles looked in disarray.
Both the teams exchanged points for the next few minutes as the scorecard read Dabang Delhi 3-12 Bengaluru Bulls. Surjeet Singh won three points in the next 3 minutes for Delhi, but Amit Rathi and Deepak Kumar Dahiya reduced the Eagles to 3 men with 2 minutes to go in the half. Deepak completed the all out with a super raid and increased his team’s lead to 15 points. Surjeet Narwal’s final raid was deemed unsuccessful after a review by Delhi as the hooter went with the home team leading by 16 points.
Amit Rathi won 6 points for his team in the half while Deepak Kumar Dahiya and Surjeet Narwal conjured up 5 and 4 points each, respectively. For Dabang Delhi Kashiling Adake was having an off day as he could muster just 2 points, while Surjeet Singh kept his team in the game with 4 points in the first 20 minutes.
HT: Dabang Delhi 9-25 Bengaluru Bulls
The second half saw the team in blue slowly decrease their deficit and Kashiling Adake made it a 11-point game after winning 2 points in his raid in the 27th minute. With the Bulls down to just 2 men, it wasn’t long before they suffered an all out of their own after Pawan Kumar was tackled in the Delhi half, which made the score 19-28 with the team in red leading.
By the 30th minute, Bengaluru restored their lead to 10 points, but Kashi was getting into the game and in the next 3 minutes, he won 3 points for Delhi. With just 3 minutes to go, Delhi had made it a 7-point game and set up a tense end to the match. But, experienced campaigners Surjeet Narwal and Amit Rathi used up all their time well and ensured their team started the campaign with a win.
FT: Dabang Delhi 29-35 Bengaluru Bulls
Kashiling Adake, with a late surge, ended with 9 points, but Shrikant Tewthia stole the show by scoring 5 defensive points along with Amit Rathi, who amassed 7 points for his side. Thus, the first day of season 3 of Star Sports Pro Kabaddi ended with the finalists from last season both emerging victorious.