New Delhi: Trust U Mumba to do the unbelievable! They did a repeat of their narrow win over Puneri Paltan in the first leg of the Season 3 Star Sports Pro League at the NSCI Dome at Mumbai. It was a perfectly scripted win by a 30-27 margin after trailing by two points with just about three minutes left. Their strategy was perfectly executed by the two stalwarts Anup Kumar and Rakesh Kumar but full credit to that man Rishank Devadiga who came up with a flash raid that sent Jasmer Singh Gulia packing off the court. Jasmer Singh Gulia for long had been tormenting U Mumba.
Rishank Devadiga removed that thorn and U Mumba equalised at 26=26 forcing Puneri Paltan on the defensive. Jasmer Singh Gulia had delayed the looming all-out with two super tackles that the three the side from above the Western Ghats inflicted on the day. Sachin Shingade first got Rishank Devadiga and then Jasmer Singh Gulia stung Anup Kumar and Rakesh Kumar just when the local supporters thought their team would capitalise. At half time the match was evenly poised at 12-12 with the lead changing hands all the time.
If the Puneri Paltan put up a good show through Ajay Thakur and Surendra Singh in the absence of Manjeet Chhillar their skipper, Mumbai responded through Captain Anup Kumar who had a three point super raid in the 18th minute to give his side a 12-11 advantage. Most of the success both the outfits enjoyed was a result of their raider’s efforts. There was hardly any good work from the defence on either side of the midline. Surjeet Narwal (Services) who failed to stop Rakesh Kumar and Anup Kumar once each then had the latter once in the 10th minute. For U Mumba only Vishal Mane managed a solitary defence point on Ajay Thakur.
The result gives U Mumba the opportunity to remain in contention for the top spot. With two matches in hand against Telugu Titans and Dabang Delhi K.C. they can hope to finish with 60 points, two more than Patna Pirates. Puneri Paltan came close but are a whisker away from qualifying. With 43 points they can hope for a draw or a consolation point against Bengal Warriors that can help them edge Telugu Titans who can finish with 43 points in case they beat U Mumba today.