U Mumba opened their home campaign by defeating Puneri Paltan 33-23 in a Pro Kabaddi League (PKL) match in Mumbai on Saturday. In the game touted as the ‘Maharashtra Derby’, Mumbai’s Abhishek Singh (5 points) emerged star performer, while teammates Rohit Baliyan, Surinder Singh, Sandeep Narwal and skipper Fazal Atrachali (4 points each) made notable contributions.
The two teams were locked at 2-2 before Shubham Shinde grabbed a point to take Pune 3-2 ahead. Pune then put up a strong defence and sent two U Mumba raiders Dong Kong Lee and Sandeep Narwal packing to make it 5 -2.
However, Mumba were back in the game as they picked up three points to level the scores at 5-5. U Mumba raider Abhishek Singh picked up a point in his raid, while defenders sent Pune’s R Sriram out to make it 7-5, but Pune made it 7-7 again. The first half was a closely fought one.
U Mumba surged 10-9 ahead and in the dying seconds of the opening half, Abhishek Singh picked up a point to make in his ‘do or die’ raid in Mumbai’s favour as they went 11-9 into the break. The second half began with Abhishek Singh taking a point in his raid and later U Mumba inflicted an ‘all out’ on the Pune team to surge 15-10 ahead.
The Mumbai side continued its dominance with successful raids and tackles to go 21-12 ahead. Later, they inflicted the second ‘all-out’ on Pune to take control of the match at 27-17. Pune were then playing the catch up game, eventually ending up as the losing side.
Cricket captain Virat Kohli and Maharashtra Sports Minister Ashish Shelar graced the opening day of the Mumbai leg. In the second match of the day, Jaipur Pink Panthers beat Bengal Warriors 27-25 in an edge-of-the-seat thriller. The all-out inflicted by Jaipur team in the dying minutes clinched the game for them.