On the second day of Star Sports Pro Kabaddi League, U Mumba defeated Bengaluru Bulls 36-23. Shabeer Bapu of U Mumba was the star of the match as he got 10 points out of the 14 raids he went for.
First half: Shabeer Bapu sizzles to put U Mumba ahead
Last season’s MVP Anup Kumar opened the game with his raid but it was the oldest man of the league, Bulls’ defender Dharmaraj Cheralathan who tackled him single-handedly to score the first point of the game. However, local boy Rishank Devadiga got Anup back on the field when he sent 3 Bengaluru defenders back to win Mumbai’s first points.
With Mumbai leading 5-1, Rajesh Mondal came back with a superb raid, tagging 3 U Mumba players before he crossed the line. Joginder Narwal then tackled Shabeer Bapu to level the scores. Ajay Thakur brought Bengaluru back in the lead with another raid point.
Mumba started strong but kind of lost their way while Bengaluru Bulls took advantage of their opponents’ loss in focus and managed to overcome U Mumba’s initial lead. Shabeer Bapu, going against the flow of the match, got 2 points in spectacular fashion as he got Manjeet Chhillar and Preetam Chhillar out with a single raid to get the momentum back in U Mumba’s favour.
28-year-old Bapu led from the front and got the home team in the lead and the finalists from last season went from strength to strength. In the dying minutes of the first half, U Mumba managed to earn two bonus points after inflicting an all-out, extending their lead to 7 points.
Shimokawa makes his debut in the second half:
U Mumba started strong as they maintained a healthy lead. Shabeer Bapu, Rishank Devadiga and defender Surender Nada combined well to inflict another all-out after just 8 minutes into the second half. The scoreboard read 29-15 and Bengaluru were on the brink of their first defeat this season.
Coming on the back of a 1-point win over Jaipur Pink Panthers, U Mumba did not offer the Bulls a chance to get back in the game, playing intelligently without taking any risks. Shabeer Bapu continued his brilliant run and used his flexibility to get his fingertips across the line when he was held by Manjeet Chhillar and Joginder.
Bengaluru Bulls got a substitute in to try and change their luck. Japan’s Masayuki Shimokawa came on in the end to make his first appearance of the tournament but failed to make an impact. The final whistle was blown and U Mumba pocketed their second consecutive win with a 36-23 margin.
Man of the match: Shabeer Bapu