U Mumba began the Lucknow leg with a 37-34 win over hosts U.P. Yoddha at the Babu Banarasi Das Indoor Stadium on Friday. Rishank Devadiga scored a game-high 14 points for the Yoddha, including a Super 10 but Mumbai’s Shabeer Bappu – who was nursing a concussion from his previous match – scored 13 points to take his team to victory.
Lucknow’s opening raid of the night yielded their first point from captain Nitin Tomar, while their second raid of the match ended up being a super raid courtesy of ex-U Mumba star Devadiga, who made it 4-0 against his former side in just the 2nd minute.
Devadiga seemed to have the better of his former employers early on and raided successfully at will with Mumbai’s defence struggling to cope with his swift running hand-touch. The hosts’ first tackle point came in the ninth minute through Pankaj. The Yoddha then went on to inflict their first All-Out of the game on U Mumba to open up a 12-4 lead.
Mumbai’s defence finally managed to successfully tackle Devadiga in the 16th minute, which allowed them to close the gap on Lucknow to 15-12 at half-time on the back of five raid points from Bappu and four raid points from Anup Kumar. The home side’s leading raider was Devadiga, who accounted for six touch points in the opening period.
U Mumba turned the tide two minutes into the second half by inflicting an All-Out on Lucknow to tie things up at 16-16. The visitors took the lead two minutes later after a two-point raid by Bappu that made it 18-17.
Old boy Devadiga, however, kept on coming back to haunt Mumbai with swift raids that helped his team reestablish their lead at 20-19 six minutes into the half. He bagged his second super raid of the match moments later – to bring up his Super 10 – and make it 23-20. Not to be forgotten amidst all this was Tomar who suddenly burst into life with quick raids to herald in a second All-Out on Mumbai.
Credit to U Mumba though for sticking to their task and returning the favour by inflicting a second All-Out of the night of their own on Lucknow to take a 35-31 lead with four minutes to play. A successful tackle on Devadiga in the penultimate minute and a successful raid by Bappu in the final minute helped Mumbai complete an incredible comeback.