It was set to be an epic clash between the leaders U Mumba and the home favourites Patna Pirates. What was to follow nobody could have guessed. The events that unfolded at the Patliputra Stadium left the 1400+ spectators gasping for air. As we came closer toward the start of the match, the home faithful got louder and louder. They were dancing in the stands, it was a real carnival atmosphere unlike any other witnessed thus far in the league, every man woman and child understood the significance of this match.
The match began with a thunderous ovation for home boy favourite and skipper of the Patna Pirates, Rakesh Kumar. But Patna was slow out of the blocks, with Ravi dalal and Rakesh Kumar returning empty handed in their first string of raids. Mumbai however, seized the opportunity and streaked into an early lead, a precious gap that no opposition would want to grant a team that has shown no mercy in sweeping aside opponents. Patna however had come to fight and it wasn't too long before the pirates had the entire stadium on their feet. An incredible piece of team work, including South Korean Captain, Tae Deok Eom and Sandeep Narwal who coordinated to perfection in stopping Rishank Devadiga dead in his tracks, resulting in a victorious air punch from Tae Deok Eom. This brought Rakesh back on the mat and he rewarded his team mates' bravery by notching up yet another point for the Pirates. By the end of the first five minutes Mumbai's lead had been reduced to just one point.
Tae a player, who plays with passion and heart, seemed to let the earlier tackle get to his head. When the chips were down and he was the only one left, he raided the Mumbai half in a bid to salvage a point. He did sensationally well to get a touch, but surprisingly he stayed on the mat to try and get another one. A move he would regret as he was brought down, giving Mumbai 3 points in all, one for the tackle and 2 for their first Lona points on the night.
Coach Khokhar was furious and issued a fresh a set of instructions to his unit, demanding nothing but perfection. With Patna now all in, this tournament's revelation Ravi Dalal lead the charge, tagging 3 opponents and amazingly weaving through the Mumba defense to return home with a precious 3 points.On the stroke of the 12th minute suffered their second injury in the league, Jeeva Kumar was stretchered off as he tackled Rakesh Kumar.
Trading touches for next few minutes, Mumbai was on the ropes, always with only 2 or 3 players, Patna usually with 7. It was slowly building up towards a comeback when Patna tackled a lone standing Anup Kumar to secure Patna's first set of Lona points on the night.
Suresh Pathapalem scored 2 points with an unlikely Hail Mary touch to the out of bounds area; bring the half time score to Mumba 21 - Patna 20 The second half was a tight affair with both teams trading punches, with no clear leader emerging through the half, there were several highlights Surender Nada ordinarily a sound defender messed up and tried to tackle Rakesh alone, who of course escaped and got his team a point. But soon both teams had huge defensive lapses and surrendered unnecessary points, perhaps it was fatigue perhaps it was pressure. But regardless it was an end to end entertainer which kept every fan on the edge of their seats throughout. The Pirates came back in amazing fashion to draw the game in the very last minute and send Patna into a tizzy. The match ended 37 all, with Ravi Dalal adjudged best raider and Vishal Mane declared best defender.