U Mumba sealed its place in the playoffs of the Pro Kabaddi League with a 30-26 win over Patna Pirates at the Tau Devilal Sports Complex in Panchkula on Wednesday.
U Mumba's defence, which had been producing below-par results in the recent past, was picked up skipper Fazel Atrachali and he found able companions in Surinder Singh and Sandeep Narwal and Korean Young Chang Ko.
Season two champion U Mumba started the first half aggressively from the onset as Atrachali set the tone early with double thigh hold on Pardeep Narwal in the first minute of the match.
ALSO READ | U Mumba pips Pirates, Bengaluru thumps Haryana
Athul MS played the role of the secondary raider effectively and helped Abhishek Singh in the raiding department with regular touch points. The duo helped U Mumba clinch its first 'All-out' in the ninth minute to race to a 11-3 lead.
Fazel also claimed a personal milestone as he reached the 300 overall points mark in the process. However, Patna clawed its way back in the closing stages of first the half, courtesy to inspired performances from Pardeep and Jang Kun Lee.
Popularly known as the 'Dubki King', Pardeep produced a two-point raid with under three minutes left for half time to reduce U Mumba’s lead to five points. The half ended 17-13, with U Mumba on top.
U Mumba resumed with a 'Super-tackle' on Pardeep, but Patna was quick to regain composure as Mohammad Esmaeil Maghsoudlou came to the fore. The Iranian impressed with his all-round effort and continued to keep Patna aflot.
With the margin reduced to a mere point and the momentum swinging in Patna’s favour, the three-time champion suffered an 'All-out' and U Mumba went on to claim the win and seal a playoff berth.
-Pawan Sehrawat stars in Bengaluru's rout of Haryana-
Pawan Sehrawat scored a whopping 39 points and broke Pardeep Narwal's record of the most raid points in a single match to power Bengaluru Bulls to a commanding 59-36 win over the home side Haryana Steelers.
Bulls, however, was tamed initially as Prashanth Kumar Rai aided Haryana effect an early 'All-out' to surge to an eight-point lead. Bengaluru Bulls responded with a fine comeback as wrecker-in-chief Pawan went on a rampage. The stand-in captain scored 18 raid points in the first half and handed two 'All-Outs' to Haryana help his side recover from trailing 3-11 to leading 28-18 at the end of the first half.
The second half followed suit as Pawan racked up points at will. The previous season's MVP scored 10 touch points off Vikas Kale and guided Bulls to dishing another 'All-out' on the Steelers.
At 50-31, Pawan sent Kuldeep Singh back to the bench with a running hand touch to score his 35th point of the night and break Pardeep's two-year old record of most raid points in a match. The defending champion went on to claim a fourth 'All-out' to become the fifth team to make it to the PKL 2019 playoffs.
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