U Mumba kicked-off their home leg on a fantastic note as they defeated Puneri Paltan 33-23 in what was a Maharashtra Derby of the Pro Kabaddi League (PKL) season 7 here on Saturday.
Both the teams went for the defensive plan with U Mumba skipper Fazel Atrachali and Surjeet Singh taking the call. They played the match on Do-Or-Die raids with both teams finding picking the crucial points.
This made the first half to be low scoring but equally intriguing half with patience playing the major hand. The first spring of electric action came in the 4th minute as Shubham Shinde caught a napping Abhishek Singh returning to his half of the court which helped Pune take the lead by 2-3.
Atrachali then made his mark on the match with a strong double thigh hold on the tall Manjeet to get the super tackle in the 8th minute. It was a constant close call to tip the match on one side. Abhishek made the important move in the 17th minute when he got rid of Surjeet. The first half ended with the score favouring U Mumba at 11-9.
Puneri Paltan started the second half with just two men on the mat and U Mumba starting the half with the raids. Amit Kumar was the last nail to be hit when his raid became unsuccessful with him entering the lobby without a touch in the 21st minute to make U Mumba’s lead 15-9.
Rohit Baliyan’s pursuit after Pawan Kadian’s raid got a similar result when he got rid of Surjeet Singh which started the domino effect leading to Puneri Paltan being again All Out in the 32 nd minute. Arjun Deshwal turned out to be the Super-Sub for U Mumba as he got rid of Manjeet and Surjeet.
Pune brought in Sushant Sail to get some pace in the mat which he duly provided as he caught both defensive experts of U Mumba as he got Atrachalli and Surinder in successive raids. The 37th moment caught Sail turn towards his half in the raid to find the mighty Sandeep Narwal with a block to make the score line 31-21.
The match ended with U Mumba topping their rivals Puneri Paltans by 33-23.