An inspiring display of Kabaddi from skipper Anup Kumar saw U Mumba clinch a nail-biting 27-26 win against Telugu Titans at the Sawai Mansingh stadium in Jaipur on Sunday. U Mumba, still undefeated, extended their lead at the top of the table while the Titans suffered their first defeat of the season. The Hyderabad outfit enjoyed total control over the proceedings for majority of the game but it was Anup Kumar-led U Mumba that staged a fantastic comeback in the dying minutes of the game to clinch their sixth successive win.
First half: Telugu Titans surge ahead with sizable lead
U Mumba, who were enjoying a smooth run in the tournament were jolted by the Telugu Titans early in the match. Deepak Nivas Hudda and Prashant Rai K picked up vital raid points to push the Titans into the lead. Rahul Chaudhari had a night to forget as he was ineffective during the entire game. The Telugu Titans skipper failed to find a successful raid in eight attempts and hence made way for Iranian all-rounder Meraj Sheykh. However, Rahul’s bad run in the game did not affect the Titans as they continued to pick up points.
U Mumba suffered their first all-out in the 13th minute and the scoreboard read 13-6 in favour of Telugu Titans. U Mumba raider Shabeer Bapu did little to help his team’s cause and it was skipper Anup Kumar and the defenders who managed to pick up occasional points for Mumbai. At half-time, the Titans walked away with a 17-11 lead.
Anup Kumar leads fightback in the second half, U Mumba win nail-biter
Despite the poor showing of their star raider, the Telugu Titans were able to place themselves in a commanding position, thanks to their teamwork. They maintained pressure on their opponents during the second half as well and held on to their lead. Anup Kumar showed great faith in Shabeer Bapu but the raider still seemed to struggle when it came to winning touch points. For Hyderabad, Sukesh Hegde and Deepak Nivas Hudda did the bulk of the raiding in the second half and saw success in patches. Mumbai were a stronger defensive unit as they managed to reduce the Titans to one player in the 33rd minute. Sukesh Hegde then came up with a Super Raid, winning a bonus point and getting two touch points to revive two of his teammates.
With less than 7 minutes to go and U Mumba trailing 18-23, Anup Kumar and his team had to work out something special in order to win the match. Anup and Rishank Devadiga picked up raid points consistently to bring Mumbai back into contention. They then inflicted an all-out and were now only a point away from the Titans. Anup Kumar then got Rajguru Subramanian and Sandeep out to bring his team into the lead for the first time in the match. Shabeer Bapu held his nerve in his last raid and managed to win a touch point for his team after 5 unsuccessful raids and 7 empty raids. That raid by Bapu gave Mumbai a two point lead, and while the valiant Sukesh got one point back on the final raid of the match it was U Mumba who had the last laugh in this intense battle with a 27-26 win. Anup Kumar was undoubtedly the star of the match as he accounted for 10 points.
U Mumba 27-26 Telugu Titans