PKL: U Mumba too good for Bengal Warriors

U Mumba cruised to a 32-21 victory over Bengal Warriors in the Pro Kabaddi League 2016 on Sunday night, in a match where it showed great defensive ability.

Raider Rishank Devadiga was in great form for his side U Mumba   -  G. P. Sampath Kumar

U Mumba cruised to a 32-21 victory over Bengal Warriors in the Pro Kabaddi League 2016 on Sunday night, in a match where it showed great defensive ability. The raiders in the defending champion’s camp took a backseat as the catchers took over the lead role, to twice force an all-out on the rivals at the Balewadi complex. Rishank Devadiga stole the show in both offense and defence (10 points), with some excellent support from Fazal Atrachali (3 tackle points) and Jeeva Kumar (5 tackle points).

>Matchcentre

Bengal Warriors discovered a new face in substitute Mahendra Rajput, who contributed with four vital points (2 raid points, 2 tackle points and one Super Tackle). But the lanky raider was the only shining spot for Bengal, as its raiders Jang Kun Lee (4 raid points) and Nitin Tomar (6 raid points) had a tough time with the U Mumba defence. Lee was forced off the mat twice while Tomar was quiet and returned with empty raids quite often.

The contest had been touted as a battle between U Mumba raiders and Bengal’s tight defence. But the match started, with both the teams adopting a cautious approach.

Bengal raiders Tomar and Lee, found it difficult against a determined U Mumba defence. But the Korean shook up the defence with foot-touch to take opposition raider Shabeer Bapu out of the mat. Later, Bhupinder’s Super Raid for U Mumba helped his side gain a narrow two-point lead.

Shabeer also got into the act with a touch point after numerous empty raids. Bengal was also holding back, especially Tomar, as caution took precedence over spectacular raids.

Faced with the threat of an all-out, Tomar and substitute Mahindra Rajput teamed up to snare Rishank Devadiga. U Mumba asked for a review, which went against them. Korean Kun Lee was forced off the mat by Iranian Atrachali to deal a blow to Bengal hopes. Rajput then felt the weight of U Mumba defence, also forced beyond the sideline.

U Mumba celebrated an all-out with a collective defensive work to catch Tomar for a five-point lead. The experienced Rakesh Kumar did not need to stretch himself as the Mumbai-based team held on to its lead.

The result — U Mumba 32 (Rishank Devadiga 10, Jeeva Kumar 4, Fazal Atrachali 4) bt Bengal Warriors 21 (Mahesh Goud 3, Nitin Tomar 6, Kang Jun Lee 4, Mahendra Rajput 4).