6th January, 2016, Bengaluru: Defending champions U Mumba were given a rude awakening in Season 3 of Star Sports Pro Kabaddi as they lost 26-40 to Patna Pirates in their final game of the Bengaluru leg.
Former Pirates captain Rakesh Kumar was part of U Mumba’s starting seven and expectations were that both teams would fight hard for this victory. The first half saw U Mumba’s defence overpowered by Sandeep Narwal and Rajesh Mondal while Pirates captain Manpreet Singh’s strong defence kept raiders Rishank Devadiga and captain Anup Kumar at bay. The first all-out was secured by Patna Pirates in the 10th minute, giving them a lead of 6 points with the score 7-13. Despite a successful review by Rakesh that saw him score two points against his former team, U Mumba went into half-time, trailing 11-20 to the Patna Pirates.
The second half continued on the same note with the Patna raiders being too quick for an otherwise strong U Mumba defence. A second all out was secured by the Pirates in the opening 2 minutes of the second half which stretched their lead to a solid 12 points. This saw changes to the U Mumba team, with Bhupender Singh being sent in to try and spur a comeback. Things looked up for a few minutes for the title holders but a moment of confusion and clarification about a call, saw captain Anup Kumar being given a yellow card and sent off for two minutes. After that, there was no looking back for the men in green as they continued to perform better, with the final score ending 26-40.
At the post match press conference, coach Bhaskaran was unemotional in his answers. “Patna played a good game and today we just weren’t good enough. We will learn from our mistakes and make sure than in our next match, we do better. We have played four games only in the league and there’s a long way to go for the table to be decided.”
Captain Anup Kumar also echoed his coach’s words. “Patna gave us a good fight and we weren’t able to match it as well as we had hoped. We could have done better but we didn’t give up till the end and that’s the spirit of this team. We need to be more careful in our tactical decisions and work harder in the next game.”
U Mumba travel to Kolkata and face Bengaluru Bulls on the 10th of February at the Netaji Subash Chandra Bose Indoor Stadium.