In what was expected to be a close encounter, Patna Pirates made little work of U Mumba to beat them 34-34. Rajesh Mondal for the second successive game came up with a stellar performance as he scored eight points to give Patna Pirates a comfortable win. Dharmaraj Cheralathan marshaled the Patna defence as he scored seven of the 16 tackle points scored by Patna Pirates.
The win took Patna Pirates to top of the table with 36 points from nine games and looking on course to seal a semi-final berth. U Mumba remain fifth in the table with 27 points after nine games.
U Mumba defence began strongly and sent Pardeep Narwal to the bench in the third minute as they led 3-2 after five minutes. Rajesh Mondal scored a two-point raid in the seventh minute as Patna Pirates led 5-3. Both teams were treading with caution and traded a few empty raids as Patna Pirates led 6-5 after 12 minutes.
Pardeep Narwal opened his account in the 15th minute and Patna Pirates also inflicted an all out in the next minute as they led 12-6. Pardeep Narwal scored two more points in the 17th minute as Patna Pirates led 15-6. U Mumba were looking all over the place as their defenders and raiders struggled to get a foot in the game. Rajesh Mondal scored three points with a super raid in the 20th minute as Patna Pirates ended the first half leading 19-8.
With U Mumba reduced to just one man, Patna Pirates inflicted an all out in the first minute of first half to lead 22-8. Rishank Devadiga scored two raid points as U Mumba trailed 12-24 after 26 minutes. Patna Pirates forced a super tackle in 30th minute as they led 27-15. U Mumba forced a super tackle in 35th minute as they trailed 18-31. With their key duo of Rakesh Kumar and Anup Kumar contributing just four points, it was an uphill task for U Mumba.
U Mumba made an effort to keep the defeat margin to seven points as they cut the lead to 10 points with three minutes remaining. Rishank Devadiga scored his seventh raid point as U Mumba tailed 23-32 in the last minute. Patna Pirates forced a super tackle in the dying seconds to extend their lead and win 34-24.