2nd March, 2016, Mumbai:U Mumba secure a record tenth win as they hammer Dabang Delhi 36-20 and finish in top spot. This means that they will now face Bengal Warriors, who finished fourth, in the 2nd semifinal of Star Sports Pro Kabaddi.
The first half began with Rishank Devadiga reaching 200 raid points in his Star Sports Pro Kabaddi career. Along with his captain Anup Kumar, the two raiders wreaked havoc on the Dabang Delhi defence who were without captain Ravinder Singh Pahal and star raider Kashiling Adake. Despite some over eagerness displayed by Mohit Chhillar in attempting a tackle, the defending champions had a significant 7 point lead at half time.
The first all out was secured in the opening minutes of the second half when lanky Delhi raider Selvamani was trapped by the U Mumba defence. It looked all too easy for a full strength Mumba side against a Dabang Delhi team that were testing out their young guns. A brilliant solo tackle from Surender Nada demonstrated the talent and depth of the squad which prompted the second all out in the 35th minute. Rishank toyed around with the last man standing in the Delhi den but the all out was inevitable. At this point, coach Bhaskaran decided to experiment and brought on Masayuki Shimokawa, Suresu and Paulyas for Rishank, Jeeva Kumar and Rakesh Kumar respectively, the latter two putting in good shifts as usual. The substitutions elicited huge cheers from the bench with the clock winding down. The final whistle saw the score end 36-20 and a second consecutive top of the table finish for U Mumba.
Captain Anup Kumar mentioned in the post match press conference that his team would be ready for anything that Bengal Warriors will throw their way. "Bengal (Warriors) have a strong defence with Nilesh Shinde leading the side. Our defence is also strong and everyone has been contributing in the raiding department including Rakesh who has played brilliantly so far. Reaching the semifinals is one step closer to us retaining the title."
U Mumba now travel to Delhi and face Bengal Warriors in the second semi-final at the Thyagaraj Indoor Stadium on the 4th of March.