Another day, another match and another second-half collapse for Tamil Thalaivas, which succumbed to a 24-29 defeat at the hands of U Mumba in its final home game at the Jawaharlal Nehru indoor stadium.
The match began with Tamil Thalaivas’ Mohit Chhillar grabbing U Mumba’s Abhishek Singh by the waist and pinning him down on the mat to complete a wonderful tackle.
Rahul Chaudhari bagged the next point in the subsequent raid by getting his hand past the mid-line on his way before being shoved off by Mumbai’s Surinder Singh.
The first point of the night for U Mumba came through Arjun Deshwal, courtesy a kick on Ran Singh at the left corner.
Thalaivas skipper Ajay Thakur registered his name on the scorecard with two consecutive successful raids. First, he sent Surinder off to the bench, with a running hand touch and followed it up with another on Sandeep Narwal.
Chaudhari’s smooth ride came to a sudden end when he was hit right under his right eye by Fazel Atrachali. Though the raider managed to get a bonus point and bench Fazel, he was forced to go off the mat for treatment. He came back soon after with a band-aid stuck on the wound.
Trailing by six points, Mumbai inched closer when Abhishek, with able assistance from Harendra Kumar, scored a ‘Super Tackle’ to floor Chaudhari.
In what was the final raid of the first half, Abhishek rushed in to the right corner and got a hefty touch off Chennai’s Mohit Chhillar. The teams walked into the first half at 12-10 in the host’s favour.
Mumba turned the tables when a mind-blowing Athul MS raid helped the visitor inflict an ‘All Out’ on the Chennai-based franchise. He went in to raid against V. Ajith Kumar and Mohit Chhillar. The former put in a solo ankle hold before receiving support from the senior defender. However, Athul, a stubborn raider on the mat, twisted and turn to break free and make the mid-line. The lead was now with Mumbai and the scorecard read 19-15.
Atrachali’s menacing dashes were the final nail in the coffin. The defender, on multiple occasions, charged from the left corner and got the better of one raider after another, V. Ajith Kumar and Chaudhari being his primary victims.
With exactly 30 seconds remaining on the clock, Abhishek put in an empty raid, as U Mumba moved to the fourth place with five victories and as many losses.
Gujarat’s second half assault downs Patna
Gujarat Fortunegiants’ six-match losing streak finally came to an end after edging past Patna Pirates 29-26 in a thrilling encounter.
Pardeep, as has been the case so far this season, started strongly in the first half. He lit up the arena with a ‘Super Raid’ to take his side ahead by three points. Gujarat’s cover Sunil tried to hold him back from behind, but Pardeep pulled off a dubki . to safety.
With the momentum on its side, Patna inflicted the first ‘All Out’ on Gujarat in under seven minutes.
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Trailing at 6-12, Gujarat started making inroads after Ruturaj Koravi floored Pardeep with a diving thigh hold. With Rohit Gulia leading from the front and a few successful raids on the trot, Gujarat was back in the lead again after inflicting the first ‘All Out’ on Patna.
The tension continued to soar when Pardeep went in to raid and walked back to safety claiming a toe touch on Parvesh Bhainswal. However, the Gujarat skipper swore that there was no touch. A review review was taken but the appeal was turned down.
For Rohit Gulia, it was the perfect night. He brought up his ‘Super 10’ in the last raid of the match by breaking free from Mohammad Maghsoudlou’s back hold and tumbling back to safety.