Patna Pirates displayed great teamwork to pull off a stunning 40-26 victory over defending champions U Mumba in a lop-sided match of the third season of Star Sports Pro Kabaddi League here today.
Despite losing their star raider Rohit Kumar and captain Gurpreet when he successfully tackled Rakesh Kumar early in the second half, the Pirates held their nerves to emerge as victories. This was their first success over their rivals in two years.
The onslaught started with Rajesh Mondal responding with a four-point super raid to Anup Kumar’s three-pointer. Even then U Mumba enjoyed a good 8-6 lead and things didn’t look good for them.
But a sudden change saw Pradeep Narwal score two in a raid that led to an all-out in the 9th minute of play. From there, it was only one-way traffic as the champions lost inch by inch every passing moment.
Patna’s target was to nullify the rival defence, especially the corner duo of Mohit Chhillar and Surendra Nada and once that objective was achieved time and again, the champions literally crumbled making the result evident with a 20-11 lead at half-time.
Rajesh Mondal who was to return a haul of 8 points with Pradeep Narwal (8) was at the forefront in attack.
Sandeep Narwal who is concentrating on defence at present, with lots of talent available in attack, used his bruising body blocks and ankle holds to good effect.
With Sunil and Suresh Kumar too joining the hunt, the U Mumba side looked helpless for once and so were their coaches E Bhaskaran and Ravi Shetty.
The second half proved more disastrous as it took hardly a couple of minutes for Patna Pirates to get the remaining three out. It was 24-12 at that time. The difference wasn’t so big with about 18 minutes left but Patna had landed a major psychological victory.
From thereon, U Mumba kept sliding with only Anup Kumar trying to make a match of it. He ended with a creditable tally of 9 points. The skipper lost his composure today and like his counterpart Manpreet picked up a yellow and a two minute suspension.
Patna Pirates kept on piling the agony with relentless attacks. Rajesh won a review to pocket a crucial point at 17-28. Rakesh tried his best and scored 4 points but could not make an impact against his former team.
Patna Pirates leaped to the top with 15 points in three outings, while U Mumba remained on 10 points in fourth place with two wins.