PKL: U Mumba edges out Bengaluru Bulls

U Mumba with this third win in five matches has 15 points and is fourth on the table. Bengaluru, on the other hand, remained in sixth place after suffering its fourth loss in six games.

U Mumba players celebrate after their hard-fought win against Bengaluru Bulls   -  PTI

U Mumba showed nerves of steel as it rallied its way to edge out Bengaluru Bulls 29-28 in an thrilling match in the Pro Kabaddi League season three here today.

U Mumba with this third win in five matches has 15 points and is fourth on the table. Bengaluru, on the other hand, remained in sixth place after suffering its fourth loss in six games.

In a match where it trailed for almost 38 minutes, U Mumba kept its cool and turned the tables on its inexperienced rivals in the exciting contest.

All credit goes to veteran Rakesh Kumar, the former Indian star, for guiding the under-strength U Mumba side, who were severely handicapped by the absence of Anup Kumar and the trio of Mohit Chhillar, Surender Nada and Vishal Mane, the core of their defence.

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Iran’s Fazel Atrachali, playing his first full match, provided the window of opportunity to U Mumba when he held Amit Rathi with a waist hold. The next raid by Surjeet, the lone man standing for the Bengaluru Bulls, culminated in the last minute all-out which clinched the match for the winners.

In hindsight, the strategy of Bengaluru Bulls coach Randhir Singh to utilize his skipper Surjeet Singh as a tool to run down the clock with empty raids backfired. Both will definitely rue the fact that those 20 empty raids hit them in the end.

U Mumba was down and out in the first half. The situation seemed grim as it was 4-10 after the first all-out in the ninth minute and then 9-20 after the second in the 18th minute.

At half time, Bengaluru had 21-10 advantage and it probably prompted the Bengaluru coach Randhir Singh to ask his trump card Surjeet to waste the time and conserve his energy.

However, after the disappointment of the first half, U Mumba came out determined but leaked points to be down at 20-27 when the final five minutes were called.

The tide turned with Rakesh getting hold of raiders Pawan Kumar and Vinoth Kumar in successive raids. Yet at 27-22 the loser was well placed.

Once panic set in, Rakesh Kumar sensed the opportunity and turned the tables in his team’s favour in the end.

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