For the first time in the ongoing edition of Pro Kabaddi League (PKL), U Mumba won the Maharashtra Derby after outclassing Puneri Paltan 31-22 on Saturday. Mumbai rode on raiders Abhishek Singh and Surender Singh’s seven and four raiding points, respectively, besides captain and ace defender Fazel Atrachali’s four tackle points to come out victorious. On the other hand, More GB of Pune and Sandeep Narwal picked up four and three tackle points, respectively. The match saw the two highest scoring raiders of this season not play against each other as both Nitin Tomar of Puneri Paltan and Siddharth Desai of U Mumba were harboring injuries to their knee and shoulder, respectively.
Deepak Kumar Dahiya started the match with a running hand touch on Surender in the first raid of the match to open the floodgates, but this was overturned by U Mumba in the next 4 minutes. U Mumba took the lead and kept a gap of 4 points by the 5th minute to make it 5-1.
With two men on the mat, Puneri Paltan got a strong super tackle by Monu on Darshan Kadian to make it 5-3 in the 6th minute.
Puneri Paltan tried to get touch and tackle points to regain their full strength but were all out in the 11th minute raid by Abhishek, which saw More enter the lobby without a tackle on the raider.
The first-half ended with U Mumba leading by 9 points with the score line at 19-10.
The second-half saw Puneri Paltan trying to change their tactics as they worked on their defence to reduce the gap through super tackles. Shubham Shinde got an ankle hold on Vinod while More pulled him from reaching the midline in the first raid of the half to get a super tackle.
They continued with this technique as they reduced a nine-point lead in the start to a four-point lead by 30th minute by regularly picking up super tackles.
Pune continued to have just three men on the mat for a while. The 32nd minute raid by Abhishek became the catalyst for U Mumba to inflict an all-out on Pune as he got both Ravi Kumar and Sandeep Narwal.
This raid was reviewed by Puneri Paltan as they believed that the raider was pushed out of the mat before he crossed the midline with his hand only to notice in the replays that his body was still in the lobby. The next raid saw Surender dash Deepak Dahiya out of the mat and complete the procedure of an all-out to make it 28-18 in U Mumba’s favour.
The game ended with U Mumba winning the match by 31-22.
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