U Mumba win Star Sports Pro Kabaddi season 2
U Mumba were crowned the winners of Star Sports Pro Kabaddi season 2 after a brilliant 36-30 win over Bengaluru Bulls. Last season’s finalists went one step further this time as they lifted the trophy in stunning fashion. A brilliant defensive performance in the first half was capped by an allround performance in the second by the home team.
Earlier in the day, Telugu Titans beat Patna Pirates convincingly in the 3rd place playoff to set the stage up for the final of the second season of Pro Kabaddi. U Mumba and Bengaluru Bulls went head-to-head for the title in front of a packed NSCI Stadium in Mumbai.
U Mumba won the toss and invited Bengaluru Bulls to raid first and it was Anup Kumar who got the first point of the match with a toe touch on Somvir Shekhar. In the 2nd minute, Shabeer Bapu made it 2-0 to Mumbai through a raid, but Rajesh Mondal halved Bengaluru Bulls’ deficit in the subsequent raid. From there, it was a half for the defenders as only 3 successful raids ensued for the rest of the half.
The Mumbai captain Anup Kumar was tackled by the Bulls defence while local boy Rishank Devadiga caught Rajesh Mondal. The officials called a timeout in the 7th minute as U Mumba led Bengaluru Bulls 4-3. Both the teams displayed some brilliant defending as they did not let the raiders from any team to get a point.
Great defending by U Mumba
With the scores tied at 7, Rajesh Mondal was caught by a strong tackle by the combination of Vishal Mane and Surender Nada while Shabeer Bapu broke the raiders’ 14-minute duck in the 16th minute by returning successfully from his raid. In the 18th minute, Shabeer got the Bulls down to just 3 men through his raid as the Mumbaikars looked to enforce an all out on their opponents.
Ajay Thakur was tackled in his raid while Anup Kumar brought the Bulls on the verge of an all out with just 1 player left for the Bulls on the court. In the final raid of the half, Deepak Dahiya was tackled by the Mumbai defenders as the Bulls suffered an all out to the delight of the home crowd as the home team led 16-8 at half-time. In a defensive half in the final, only 6 raid points were scored and Bengaluru Bulls contributed to just 1 of those 6.
Having scored 0 raid points in the first half, Manjeet Chhillar scored 3 in just 2 raids as the Bengaluru Bulls made it a 5-point game in the 24th minute. Rishank helped restore Mumbai’s 8-point advantage in the subsequent raid before Ajay Thakur was tackled by an alert Mumbai defence. Both the teams exchanged points for the next few minutes as the scoreline read 21-14 in favour of the home team after 29 minutes.
Ajay Thakur’s and Manjeet Chhillar’s efforts go in vain
A good run for the Bulls saw them reduce Mumbai’s lead to just 4 points with 10 minutes to go in the final. With the visitors trailing 18-23, Ajay Thakur levelled the score with a single raid! The Indian international, who had 0 raid points till this instant, scored 5 points for his team which included 2 points for an all out as the Bulls gave the home team a scare.
The U Mumba captain was tackled by the Bulls as they took the lead (24-23) for the first time in the match in the 34th minute. However, with the clock showing 35 minutes, U Mumba sparked back into life by not only levelling the score, but taking a healthy 5-point lead courtesy of a stellar raid by Shabeer. The man christened “India’s best raider” by Anup Kumar used his pace and strength to conjure up a super raid as the Mumbaikars led 29-24 with 4 minutes to go in the match.
Just when it looked like U Mumba would win comfortably, the Bulls charged through captain Manjeet. The Arjuna awardee amassed 3 points in 2 raids to make it a 2-point game (30-28) with 2 minutes to go. However, after the Bulls captain was tackled, Anup Kumar’s side cruised through to victory, enforcing another all out in the process when Ajay Thakur was tagged by Anup in the 39th minute.
Manjeet scored a couple of points in the final minutes while Anup won a point for U Mumba to put an end to the final which saw U Mumba win 36-30 vs Bengaluru Bulls. Shabeer Bapu scored 10 points for the newly-crowned league winners while Manjeet top scored in the match, with 11 points.
Man of the match: Shabeer Bapu