U Mumba, Puneri Paltan register wins on Day 16 of Star Sports Pro Kabaddi
Match 27 of the Star Sports Pro Kabaddi saw defending champions U Mumba take on in-form Bengal Warriors in what turned out to be a thrilling encounter on the last day of the Pune leg. It was an impressive display from the defending champions to win the match 32-20 and with that win, they moved up to 3rd in the standings.
It was U Mumba’s Rishank Devadiga who drew first blood with a quick touch point in the 3rd minute after a series of empty raids by both the teams. Korean import Jang Kun Lee returned the favour by setting himself free of Pawan Kumar’s light ankle hold to settle the scores. By the end of the 8th minute, Nitin Tomar got his first touch point of the night to reach an important landmark – 50 raid points in the 3rd season of Pro Kabaddi and thus became only the second player to reach the milestone with only Pirates’ Pardeep Narwal ahead of him.
Bhupender Singh continued his fine form into the game and earned two crucial raid points to give the defending champions 6-3 lead with 11 minutes left in the first half. Next few minutes saw successful raids from both the teams, taking the game to 8-6 in favour of the Mumbai-based franchise.
Bengal’s skipper Nilesh Shinde got Bhupender Singh out via an ankle hold to level the scores at 9-9 by the end of 16th minute in the first half. The match was evenly poised with a score-line of 11-9 at the end of the first half with both the defences fighting to take the control of the game.
HT: U Mumba 11 – 9 Bengal Warriors
The defending champions started the second half on the front foot, with reducing the Warriors down to 2 men. However, Bengal didn’t bow down and fought back to get a super tackle on Rishank to make it a 1 point game in the 25th minute.
Iran international Fazel Attrachali acted like a one-man army in defence and thrashed Jang Kun Lee off-court in the subsequent raid to give U Mumbai a 1-point cushion. The Mumbai-based franchise affected their 1st All-out of the match on Bengal Warriors to give them a 20-16 lead with 10 minutes left on the clock.
U Mumba continued to apply pressure on the opposition team with Rishank getting points on both sides of the court to make it a 7-point game. They continued to get points on a regular basis which resulted in the 2nd All-out for the Warriors as the defending champions took a 29-18 lead with just 3 minutes left on the clock.
U Mumba played the waiting game for the rest of the match and kept their composure to register their 5th win of the campaign with an impressive 32-20 scoreline. They climbed up to 3rd position in the points tally and are once again in contention for the top 2 finish.
FT: U Mumba 32 - 20 Bengal Warriors
Puneri Paltan vs Bengaluru Bulls
In the second match of the night, hosts Puneri Paltan took on newly looking Bengaluru Bulls side which was also the last match played in the Pune leg of the Star Sports Pro Kabaddi.
The match started on the wrong foot for the hosts, as Prashant Chavan was adjudged out for stepping out in the lobby while his teammate Ajay Thakur was raiding at the other end. In his defence, he was picking something off the lobby to clear the mat.
Surender Singh got 2 points and a bonus in the very next raid to get the Pune’s scorecard to a flying start. The next few minutes saw Ajay Thakur and Amit Rathi register successful raids to make it a 2 point game with 8 minutes played in the first half.
Pune’s new skipper Manjeet Chhillar didn’t display any affection to his former teammates, first got Amit Rathi out via a double ankle hold and then getting a touch point to reduce the away side to 1 man. Eventually, Bengaluru Bulls were All-out for the first team in the match and Pune led 12-6 at the end of 11-minutes in the first half.
Ajay Thakur and Surender Singh increased the home sides’ lead to 8 points with a series of successful raids with just 3 minutes left on the clock in the first half. Pawan Kumar continued his fine form to get back 2 touch points and Bengaluru Bulls into double figures.
HT: Puneri Paltan 18-10 Bengaluru Bulls
The start of the second half saw Pawan Kumar getting touch points in quick succession to close down the gap to 7 points. By the end of 26 minutes, both the defences scored some points to make it 21-13 in the favour of the home side.
However, the visitors fought hard with Pawan Kumar securing touch points in consecutive raids which led to the first all-out for the home side. Puneri Paltan had a slender lead of 3 points by the end of the 33rd minute.
Deepak Kumar Dahiya secured a touch point to make it a 2 point game, then Ajay Thakur was out in the following raid to reduce the gap to just a point with just 4 minutes to play in the second half.
Pawan Kumar levelled the score in the next raid, however, Manjeet Chhillar reinstated the one-point lead in the very next raid. It was Manjeet Chhillar who took the match away from Bull’s reach by getting Pawan Kumar out in via a double ankle hold and thus Pune registered their 1st win on the home soil. With this slender win, Pune moved up to 5th place above Jaipur Pink Panthers and just 3 points away from the semi-final spot.
FT: Puneri Paltan 29-27 Bengaluru Bulls