U Mumba put on a Diwali Dhamaka for their home fans, their explosive performance resulting in a dominating 48-24 victory over Jaipur Pink Panthers in the opening home leg encounter of the 6th Vivo Pro Kabaddi League at the Dome @ NSCI.
The victory also catapulted U Mumba to the top of the points ranking with 39 points from 9 matches.
The homes team’s dominance was never in question at any juncture, and at one time the team seemed on course to break their earlier highest points difference record of 27 points, when they led 37-12 with 12 minutes to go. However, a late fightback from Jaipur saw them prevent this from happening, but though they could reduce the deficit a bit, they could not do much to prevent U Mumba’s huge victory, this being their second win over Jaipur in the league.
With Siddharth Desai and Rohit Baliyan on the bench, it was left to Abhishek and Darshan to shoulder the responsibility and the two rose to the occasion in grand fashion. U Mumba were up and running, with precision raids from Abhishek and Darshan Kadian giving them the early lead. Captain Fazel Atrachali was a constant danger as he lurked in the left corner, waiting to pounce at the slightest opportunity. It was just 8 minutes into the first half before the host team effected the first all out.
With Darshan taking on dangerous defender Mohit Chillar, with two consecutive raids and Anup Kumar falling prey to Fazel, the contest soon turned into a one-sided affair. U Mumba forced the second all out with 14 minutes gone on the clock leading 19-4. All-rounder Vinod Kumar also lent his might in attack and Rohit Rana standing like a rock in defence, the lead kept increasing steadily to end at 26-8 when the whistle blew for half time.
There was no respite for Jaipur in the second half as U Mumba kept up the intensity and momentum to keep increasing the lead.
Abhishek finished with 10 points from 17 raids and added 2 from tackles, to finish with 12 points, while Darshan Kadian finished with 10 from 17. Vinod’s all-round show saw him score 4 raid points and bag 3 tackle points. In the defence it was captain Fazel Atrachali who stole the honours with five points from 6 tackles, while Rana scored 3 from 6.
“We were happy with our performance, it was a very good match.” said Fazel in the post-match briefing, and added, “The pressure is always on for the home leg. It’s our first win and there are still five more matches to go at home. We are well prepared, and this is going to be an interesting leg for the team.”
Star raider of the day Abhishek said, “I always try to stay calm. Our coach said play according to the situation and don’t think too much.”
On their next match against Gujarat Fortune Giants, Fazel said, “Gujarat is a tough team. This is going to be a close match.