13 February 2016, Pune: The defending champions were once again on the back foot in the first half but quickly pulled back to close out 29-27 winners against Puneri Paltan on Saturday in Season 3 of Star Sports Pro Kabaddi.
In the first minute itself, a review taken by Ajay Thakur saw the Mumbai team go up on the board. However Mumbai's quick 3-point lead was wiped out when Surender Singh effected a super raid that brought U Mumba closer to an all-out. The inevitable occurred and the hosts were leading by a single point at half time.
The second half began with a couple of quick points from Rishank Devadiga and a timely tackle by Fazel Atrachali as well. The score soon became level at 24-24 when the Puneri Paltan captain Manjeet Chhillar was the last man standing and couldn't prevent an all out. In an attempt to stop the Paltan Raiders from getting a bonus point, U Mumba stand in captain Rakesh Kumar sacrificed his point to ensure that the opposition wouldn't get any cheap points. It proved to be successful because Rishank was in good form and quickly pushed the lead to 2 points. Shabeer Bapu also chipped in and a bonus point secured through Bhupender Singh saw that U Mumba kept their 2 point lead and win 29-27.
At the post match press conference, Rakesh Kumar was asked about the reason for that late tackle. "It was a strategic decision because we didn't want them to get the bonus points. We wanted to get the chance to tackle them. Rishank was very successful in the end which worked well for us."
Rishank Devadiga was also present and asked about the turning point of the match. "We were confident that we would be able to win this game. The all out that got us on level terms was the turning point of the match."
U Mumba take on Bengal Warriors at the Shree Shiv Chhtrapati Sports Complex tomorrow at 8pm.