A defensive masterclass by U Mumba helped them beat UP Yoddha 39-36 in their Pro Kabaddi League (PKL) game in Pune on Wednesday. The defeat ended UP’s five-game winning streak in the competition.

Surinder Singh who secured a High 5 (6 tackle points) and Fazel Atrachali (3 tackle points) were the heroes in Mumbai’s defence, while Abhishek Singh led the attack with a Super 10 (11 raid points), as U Mumba displaced UP Yoddha in the fifth place of the points table.

A bitterly fought first half saw UP Yoddha start on the front foot. Both teams had a high line of defence and were in no mood to let the raiders have an easy day.

A few uncharacteristic errors from the Mumbai defence allowed Yoddha to dominate the first 10 minutes and clinch their first all-out in the 9th minute to open up a 9-point lead.

But U Mumba defenders got them back into the game after the all-out, thwarting any attempt by the UP raiders to add to their score.

Ashu Singh’s Super Tackle on Mumbai’s Abhishek Singh gave a temporary revival for Yoddha but the Mumbai team clinched their all-out with under two minutes remaining to half time. The half-time ended with scores 16-15 in favour of the UP side.

The second half saw both U Mumba and UP Yoddha trade blows. A two-point raid by Arjun Deshwal gave U Mumba the lead for the first time in the fourth minute of the half, but UP Yoddha immediately clawed back with a Super Tackle.

Both sides kept pushing it to the extremes in the dying minutes as defenders stepped up their game.

The most important move of the match came with little less than six minutes left in the clock when Abhishek Singh’s three-point raid gave Mumbai a lead who then secured an all-out in the subsequent raid by Yoddha to open up a three-point lead.

A three-point raid in the dying minutes by Rishank Devadiga and a two-point effort from Shrikanth Jadhav brought the gap down to just one point. But U Mumba’s Rohit Baliyan held his nerve in the do-or-die raid to give Mumbai a two-point cushion with just a minute left.

Sandeep Narwal brought up his first tackle point of the game tackling Shrikanth Jadhav as U Mumba sealed a crucial victory.

Pune squander lead to concede a tie

A bizarre final minute raid by Nitin Tomar handed a tie to Tamil Thalaivas against home side Puneri Paltan in the second match on Wednesday.

The raider’s inability to pull off a valid raid in the final play of the match resulted in all-ut that gave Thalaivas the three points they required to level the match at 36-36.

Ajith Kumar was the star for the Tamil Thalaivas team scoring 18 raid points but the Chennai team will have Pune’s miscalculations to thank for the three points they secured in the night.

Manjeet (11 raid points ) and Pankaj Mohite (8 raid points) impressed in the raiding department for the Pune side who would rue missing the chance of jumping to 8th on the points table.

The first half started with a lot of promise for the struggling Tamil Thalaivas side with Rahul Chaudhari and Ajith Kumar looking good in their raids. But the error-prone Tamil defence allowed Pankaj Mohite to escape with a three-point super raid in the sixth minute of the match to turn things around the home side.

Pune secured their first all-out in the next minute to move to a three-point lead and dominate the half from thereon. A few strong tackles by Shabeer Bappu, including a super tackle on Manjeet in the 12th minute, kept the Thalaivas in the game but Pune quickly established a 6-point lead to end the half 18-12.

The second half saw more of the same as Pune stamped their authority on the match. But some heroics from Thalaivas’ young raider Ajith Kumar prevented an all-out for a long time.

It became an Ajith versus Pune battle as the Tamil Nadu youngster produced four consecutive multi-point raids to rush to his Super 10 and also prevent the all-out. The Pune side eventually got their all-out in the 8th minute of the half to open a seven-point lead.

Ajith Kumar’s raiding form continued to get undone by poor coordination in the Thalaivas’ defence.

Manjeet picked up his Super 10 for Pune in the 13th minute of the half while Pankaj Mohite also impressed with his raiding for the Anup Kumar-coach Paltan side.

But Thalaivas kept prodding through Ajith Kumar and kept the margins small till the final minute.

A blunder in the last play of the match by Nitin Tomar, who couldn’t execute a safe raid, gave Thalaivas an all-out and the three points they required to level the match.

The tie lifted Pune to the eighth spot in the table but they will rue dropping two points in a game they had complete control of.

Points Table

1 DABANG DELHI K.C 16 13 2 1 68 69
2 BENGAL WARRIORS 16 9 4 3 72 58
3 HARYANA STEELERS 15 10 4 1 37 54
4 BENGALURU BULLS 16 9 7 0 14 49
5 U MUMBA 16 8 7 1 29 48
6 U.P.YODDHA 16 8 6 2 -46 48
7 JAIPUR PINK PANTHERS 16 7 8 1 -6 43
8 PUNERI PALTAN 17 5 9 3 -46 37
9 PATNA PIRATES 16 6 10 0 8 35
10 GUJARAT FORTUNEGIANTS 16 5 10 1 -8 35
11 TELUGU TITANS 15 4 9 2 -58 30
12 TAMIL THALAIVAS 17 3 11 3 -64 30