U Mumba began their campaign in style with a victory over Jaipur Pink Panthers in a nail biting contest.
Riding on an inspiring all-round performance from Rakesh Kumar, U Mumba pulled off a stunning victory over Jaipur Pink Panthers 36-34. Kumar scored nine raid points and three tackle points and made the difference in the second game of the fourth season of Star Sports Pro Kabaddi League. Shabeer Bappu of the Jaipur Pink Panthers scored 9 points and seven successful raids to but was unable to help his team win their opening game.
U Mumba were quick to get out of their tracks and raced into a 4-0 lead Jaipur Pink Panthers were looking completely out of sorts making defensive errors. In the first 10 minutes, they missed two super tackle opportunities. U Mumba inflicted their first all out in the 15th minute and extended their lead to 13-5. Jaipur Pink Panthers captain Jasvir Singh had a game to forgot and missed all of his raids. At half time, U Mumba had a healthy eight-point lead and led 20-12.
Jaipur Pink Panthers had different plans for the second half with Shabeer leading the charge. In the second minute of the second half, they inflicted an all-out and reduced the deficit to one point with five minutes gone in the second half. However, Rakesh Kumar put in a memorable performance and with four minutes to go, U Mumba leveled the game at 28-28.
During the last crucial minutes, Jaipur erred when they sent on Jasvir for two raids and not the in-form Shabeer Bappu, whose valiant effort went in vain. The match could have gone either way and both teams were matching each other blow for blow. But tactical mistakes on the part of Panthers ensured that they began their campaign with a loss. . Rakesh Kumar was the difference between the two teams and was rightly adjudged as the best defender and raider of the match.