In a closely fought Maharashtra derby, U Mumba beat Puneri Paltan 34-31. Anup Kumar was the star for U Mumba and scored 11 points to lead his team to victory. Puneri Paltan were in the game for long periods but slipped at crucial moments.
U Mumba are now fourth in the league with 32 points from 10 games whereas Puneri Paltan slipped to fifth spot with 31 points from 11 games.
Anup Kumar opened U Mumba’s account in the first minute to lead 1-0. Puneri Paltan got their first tackle point in the second minute and Ajay Thakur got his first raid to give Pune 2-1 lead. Both teams exchanged points in the next few minute as Puneri Paltan led 4-5 after ten minutes. Anup Kumar scored four points as U Mumba tied the game at 6-6 after 11 minutes.
U Mumba led 9-7 in the 14th minute as their defenders piled pressure on Puneri Paltan. Anup Kumar was in fine form as he scored with another raid as U Mumba led 10-8 after 15 minutes and reduced Puneri Paltan to just two men. U Mumba inflicted an all out in the 17th minute as they led 14-9. Ajay Thakur bought Pune right into the game with a super raid in the 19th minute as they trailed 13-14. U Mumba ended the first half leading 15-13 but wasted to build on the all out advantage.
Puneri Paltan began second half brightly and tied the game at 15-15 in the 22nd minute with U Mumba reduced to just two men. Puneri Paltan inflicted their first all out in 23rd minute to lead 19-16. Rishank Devadiga and Rakesh Kumar scored raid point in two minutes as U Mumba trailed 19-20. But Ajay Thakur continued his good form to score two raid points as it 22-19 in Pune’s favour after 27 minutes.
U Mumba tied the game at 23-23 after 32 minutes as Rishank Devadiga scored two raid points. Deepak Niwas Hooda scored a bonus point in 33rd minute as both teams were level at 24-24. Anup Kumar reduced Pune to just one man as he scored with a raid to give U Mumba 26-25 lead. But Sonu Narwal averted an immediate all out as he scored a raid point to tie the game at 26-26 with five minutes to go.
U Mumba inflicted the second all out in 37th minute to lead 30-27. U Mumba extended their lead by six points in the last two minutes but Puneri Paltan forced a super tackle to trail 30-34. Ajay Thakur scored a raid point but it wasn’t enough as they lost 31-34 in the end.