U Mumba began their home leg of the Pro Kabaddi League season with a 40-35 win over the Bengaluru Bulls, shortly after Dabang Delhi beat Patna Pirates 38-37 in the first match in Mumbai on Friday.

U Mumba’s Bittu, making his PKL debut, impressed with 6 tackle points. Buoyed by a boisterous home crowd, U Mumba went all guns blazing from the first raid and inflicted an all out as early as the seventh minute. Guman Singh and Amirmohammad Zafardanesh picked points at will and the U Mumba defence was rock-solid as Bittu’s tackle on Aman put U Mumba ahead 11-3.

Bengaluru Bulls were forced to play catch up thereon. Their first tackle point came only in the 11th minute and that summed up their defensive show as they struggled to contain U Mumba’s three-pronged raiding unit.

Bulls’ ace raider Bharat Hooda was unable to find a rhythm and Vikash Kandola offered some hope but failed to capitalize on numerous chances to inflict the all out on U Mumba. The home team played with three men for nearly five minutes and held on to go into the break with a 19-10 lead.

U Mumba extended their lead early into the second half as Zafardanesh’s multi-point raid reduced the Bulls to two men. Sushil came off the bench to the Bulls’ rescue and scored six quickfire points and Aman claimed a super tackle, but it still wasn’t enough to stop U Mumba from grabbing a second all out. With 12 minutes left, the hosts sat pretty at 28-18.

U Mumba brought on a couple of players from the bench for the remainder of the match as they dominated the proceedings. Bittu, who replaced Rinku in the U Mumba line-up, trapped Hooda in a fine tackle to claim a High 5.

Bulls’ veteran defender Surjeet Singh produced a moment of magic towards the end of the game as he outwitted three defenders to execute the first super raid of the match. Incidentally, this was also the first super raid of his PKL career.

Sachin Narwal followed it up with another sublime super raid and U Mumba had just two men left on the mat. The Bulls went on to bag an all out in the final raid of the match, but it wasn’t enough to erase their deficit as U Mumba clinched their fifth win on the trot.

Dabang Delhi beat Patna Pirates

In a blistering first half performance, Dabang Delhi inflicted two all outs on the Pirates. The first came within the first 10 minutes, as they took a five-point lead, and the second followed merely six minutes later to give them a 10 point advantage.

Dabang Delhi’s raiders, Malik, Meetu Sharma and Manjeet logged an incredible 13 points from 20 raids in the first half, leaving the Patna Pirates chasing shadows. Malik in particular was not tackled even once in the first half.

Time and again Sachin Tanwar had pulled the Pirates out of trouble in the season, but on the day, he was subdued by a confident Dabang Delhi defence as they took a 13 points advantage into the break.

The Pirates defence finally clicked into place in the second half, and inflicted an all out of their own, to cut the lead down to six points. Tanwar came to life soon after, registering a super raid to take out Ashish, Vikrant and Mohit to pull them closer.

The Patna Pirates surge continued through the half, as Tanwar and M Sudhakar’s brilliant raiding kept them within three points till late in the game. In the end though, Dabang Delhi held on by running down the clock to take the win.