Defending champions U Mumba crushed Bengal Warriors 41-29 to make it to the finals of the Star Sports Pro Kabaddi. At the Indira Gandhi Indoor Stadium here it was the all-round show by their man in form Rishank Devadiga that gave them a third consecutive entry into the title round. Like the first semi-final this too was a one-sided affair with the Mumbai side racing ahead 26-8 ahead at the break. Rishank Devadiga hogged the limelight with two super raids and a super tackle in the match. Captain Anup Kumar too played his role to perfection as always. He led the side admirably and netted six raid points.
Anup Kumar set the trend with a successful raid and Rishank Devadiga took the cue to lead his team to engineer the first all-out by the 9th minute. The famed Bengal Warriors defense failed to check Rishank Devadiga in the first half and as veteran Rakesh Kumar too got going it became more difficult for the Bengal Warriors to arrest the slide.
It resulted in the second all-out in the 15th minute and the winners were firmly in the driver’s seat at 22-6 by then. Only Mahendra Rajput with two bonus points made some impact for the Bengal Warriors and substitute Umesh Mhatre contributed a couple of raid points late in the half. Jang Kun Lee and Nitin Tomar who had devastated many a defense on their way to the semis looked like harmless warriors without arms and ammunition.
There was no recovery whatsoever from the Bengal Warriors in the second half. The 28th minute saw Bengal Warriors getting wiped off again from court to further lag behind 12-35.Rishank Devadiga in the meantime completed his super ten. With the match literally in the bag U Mumba relaxed their hold probably to avoid injuries with the final to be played tomorrow. They had already rested Rakesh Kumar but bringing in Shabeer Bapu Sharfudeen didn’t help.
Mohit Chhillar and Fazel Atrachali the two defenders scored four and three points respectively in the latter part of the second half but also conceded a few in their anxiety to try out some new ways to tackle the opposing raiders especially Nitin Tomar and substitute Vineet Sharma. This gave some respectability to the Bengal Warriors’ tally. The otherwise impregnable Bengal Warriors defense could account for only nine tackle points off which four came from Umesh Mhatre with a super tackle. It amply demonstrates their inability to tilt the scales in their favour. Surprisingly Nilesh Shinde finished without a point, when it mattered most.
So the stage is set for a cracker of a final with both Patna Pirates and U Mumba going in with their confidence sky high. Both look well balanced and the combination which gets its plans right should bag the coveted title with the U Mumba side having been there thrice and having won once, having a slight advantage. But the way the Patna Pirates went for the jugular against the Puneri Paltan, it’s beware U Mumba.