U Mumba’s chance of making it to the Super Playoffs suffered a huge blow as they faltered in front of Haryana Steelers’ all-round performance at the Jawaharlal Nehru Indoor Stadium on Wednesday. Back-from-injury Vikas Kandola and Deepak Kumar Dahiya picked up 8 points each for Haryana and were assisted brilliantly by captain Surender Nada’s High 5, which upstaged Anup Kumar’s Super 10 effort.
The Steelers started the match with intent of picking up points in quick succession, whereas Shrikant Jadhav opened Mumba’s account. Slowly, the match gained momentum with the raiding department firing from both ends. After Kashiling Adake’s two-point raid in the 9th minute for Mumba, the first quarter ended with the Steelers enjoying a slight 8-6 lead.
Anup burst into the picture in the next quarter through a fantastically executed super raid to put Mumba ahead. But Kandola’s back-to-back two-point raids reduced Mumbai to a lone man on the mat. Kuldeep Singh, however, managed to keep his team afloat by pulling off a super raid before Mumbai eventually fell to their first All-Out in the 17th minute. With Jadhav’s two-point raid, Mumba entered the breather trailing 16-22.
The Steelers started the second half with flair but Anup’s successive raids kept Mumba in the hunt. Shabeer Bappu was introduced into the Mumbai mix and made an impact as soon as he stepped onto the mat. Though Haryana managed to retain their six-point lead by the end of the third quarter, they lost their main raider Kandola to another suspected ankle injury.
Anup was the lone Mumba man who looked in control but even he fell short in front of Wazir Singh’s brilliance, who initiated the second All-Out on U Mumba to help Haryana take a massive 38-27 lead. The Steelers’ attack and defence continued their onslaught to further demoralise U Mumba. Anup did pick up a Super 10 but all his efforts went in vain as his team eventually succumbed to a hefty 30-41 defeat.
Check out our snapshots from this match here.