ProKabaddi: U Mumba edges past Puneri Paltan

Puneri Paltan came up with two Super Tackles in the closing stage but gave away the initiative with a series of errors. U Mumba did not look back from that point and sneaked to victory.

Players of U Mumba and Puneri Paltan in action during the Pro Kabaddi match in Mumbai.   -  PTI

U Mumba edged Puneri Paltan 30-27 in a Pro Kabaddi game at the NSCI stadium here. The visitor came up with two Super Tackles in the closing stage but gave away the initiative with a series of errors. U Mumba did not look back from that point and sneaked to victory. Puneri Paltan needs to win its last game to be in contention for a semi-final place, with U Mumba having already qualified before this see-saw game.

U Mumba attackers Rakesh Kumar (7 points), Anup Kumar (8 points) were competent enough to make up for the absence of Shabeer Bapu. Puneri Paltans raider Surender Singh (6 points), all-rounder Deepak Hooda (6 points) tried their best but the overall effort was not enough against a restrained show from the home side.

Faced with a must-win situation, the visitor went into the game without talismanic skipper and all-rounder Manjeet Chillar, forcing a reallocation of duties in both defence and offence. The home team, at full strength, had won all ties between these two state rivals so far.

The Pune defence took off with a neat catch, the left side moved in to trap Rishank Devadiga. The second time he went on the raid, the rival pushed him away from the sideline and out of play, heralding a promising beginning. U Mumba came under slight pressure when Iranian Fazel went out after being touched by Surender.

Facing an all-out in front of the home fans, captain Anup stole the thunder with three points when alone, two raid points and one bonus. U Mumba caught up at 12-12 when both sides went off for a breather.

For the first time in the match, U Mumba was all-out, though within catching range of Pune at 14-16. The fans were screaming as the home team catchers got into action, Rishank proved slippery in the rival half. The game gained momentum in the closing minutes, a Super Tackle by Pune setting the tone.

Scores: U Mumbai 30 (Rakesh Kumar 7rp, Anup Kumar 8rp, MohitChillar 5tp) bt Puneri Paltans 27 (Deepak Hooda 3rp, 3tp, Jasmer Singh 6tp, Surender Singh 5 rp).