PKL 2019: U Mumba begins home-leg with a win, Jaipur overcomes Bengal with late all-out

U Mumba beat Puneri Paltan 33-23 in the first 'Maharashtra Derby' of the season, while Jaipur Pink Panthers came from 19-24 down, with three minutes remaining, to beat Bengal Warriors by two points.

The defenders from both sides made a number of crucial tackles throughout the game.   -  Twitter (@ProKabaddi)

Two all-outs inflicted by U Mumba sealed Puneri Paltans’ fate in the Pro Kabaddi League (PKL) season seven Mumbai-leg opening game. The former walked away comfortable winner at 33-23 in front of its roaring fans at the NSCI Dome indoor stadium.

Defenders called the shots in the first half, raiders came into their own after the break. Abhishek Singh (five raid points) top-scored for the winner. Surjeet Singh (six points) played his heart out for the losing side.

READ| PKL 2019, As it happened: U Mumba wins Maha Derby at home, Jaipur shocks Bengal with late all-out

Fazel Atrachali and Surjeet, defensive specialists in U Mumba and Paltan respectively, were named captains and it reflected in the catching department. The former ended with four tackle points and the latter pulled off two Super Tackles.

Raiders in both camps were unable to escape the attention of the defensive line. Manjeet and Sanket Sawant displayed craft for Paltan, Sandeep Narwal, Surinder were decisive at the back for the host.

Fazel produced a Super Tackle to push U Mumba into the lead at 5-4, at the other end counterpart Surjeet failed to keep Abhishek in check at 9-9, the raider was the first frontline raider to scamper back with a raid point.

The home team in orange kept its nose ahead at 11-9 at the break. Surjeet produced a Super Tackle to keep Paltan in the fray, while rival raiders Arjun Deswal and Abhishek gave the home fans plenty to cheer. Two all-outs were the highpoints of the defensive game.

U Mumba started the home leg with a dominant win over its state rival, the second ifor the side n three appearances so far in the league. India cricket team skipper Virat Kohli sang the national anthem to kick off the Mumbai leg earlier. He later spoke about the popularity of Kabaddi.

"Ëveryone has played kabaddi sometime, hence the popularity for the sport,” he said.

 

Jaipur comes back from behind to take out the Warriors.

Bengal Warriors defender Baldev Singh completed a Super Tackle on Jaipur Pink Panthers skipper Deepak Niwas Hooda in the 37th minute of the match to give his side a 24-19 lead. Few would have given the Panthers any chance to mount a comeback and win the game from there.

However, Bengal Warriors had itself to blame as it let it slip towards the end. The men in pink snatched victory from the hands of the Warriors in style and the post-match celebrations of owner Abhishek Bachchan and his family alongside the players spoke volumes about the intensity of the game.

The Jaipur Pink Panthers snatched victory from the jaws of defeat against the Bengal Warriors.   -  Twitter (@ProKabaddi)

Bengal Warriors led throughout the match, barring the last minute, as its raiders were spot-on with their running hand touches. Prapanjan had a brilliant start to the game and captain Maninder Singh joined the party soon. The only concern for the Warriors was that its star from the game against UP Yoddha Mohammad Nabibaksh was completely misfiring.

Nabibaksh couldn't muster a single raid point entire game but that wasn't much of a problem for Bengal until the very end. Defender Baldev gave the opposition raiders a tough time as he racked up six tackle points.

At a certain point, even the commentators said the Maninder-led side can't afford to lose the game from there, but that's the beauty of the sport. Jaipur, led by its left-corner 'genius' Sandeep Dhull, completed one of the greatest comebacks in PKL history.

Sandeep claimed the second High-Five of the match and ended the game with a mammoth eight tackle points. His captain Deepak, despite not starting the match well, finished off the crucial raids with precision. Deepak Narwal and Amit Hooda gave the lead raider and lead defender respectively good support as the inaugural PKL-champion overcame the odds and claimed a memorable victory.

THE RESULTS:

U Mumba 33 (Abhishek Singh 5, Sandeep Narwal 4, Rohit Baliyan 4, Surinder Singh 4, Fazel Atrachali 4) beat Puneri Paltan 23 (Surjeet Singh 6, Pawan Kadian 4) and Jaipur Pink Panthers 27 (Sandeep Dhull 8, Deepak Hooda 6, Deepak Narwal 4) beat Bengal Warriors 25 (Prapanjan 7, Maninder Singh 6, Baldev Singh 6).