The opening game of a fascinating weekend in Greater Noida sees Puneri Paltan battle U Mumba for the third time in VIVO Pro Kabaddi Season 6 at the Shaheed Vijay Singh Pathik Sports Complex on Saturday.

The first two Maharashtra Derbies of the campaign served up two of the most exciting games of Season 6, with both going down to the very last raid of the match.

Puneri Paltan earned a draw in U Mumba’s final raid of the match in their first encounter in Chennai and triumphed over them in even more dramatic fashion with a Super Tackle on U Mumba ace Siddharth Desai in their home leg. U Mumba will want to level the scores when they meet Puneri Paltan in Greater Noida.

Match 46 (Zone A): U Mumba vs. Puneri Paltan

Head-to-head: U Mumba 7-5 Puneri Paltan. 1 tie.

U Mumba have been among the top teams in VIVO Pro Kabaddi Season 6 so far, losing just one of their seven fixtures. Their defence, offence, and even their substitutes have been contributing evenly to the team’s cause, making them one of the most dangerous outfits in the league. The only two fixtures that U Mumba failed to claim a victory in during this campaign were against rivals Puneri Paltan and they will be determined to set the record straight and, more importantly, close down the gap on the Zone A leaders to just three points. 

Puneri Paltan’s form this campaign, too, has been decent. They have won six of their 12 fixtures and are also the only team so far to win as many as three games in their home leg. They sit atop Zone A but have played five more games than second-placed U Mumba, making victory in this encounter even more crucial for the team. They will draw confidence from the first two Maharashtra Derbies and aim to go 13 points clear of second-placed U Mumba with a win.

The big battle –

Siddharth Desai vs. Girish Maruti Ernak

Rookie sensation Siddharth Desai has been an offensive juggernaut for his team in Season 6, amassing 97 raid points in just seven games. Desai ranks second in the season in terms of raid points scored as well as average raid points.

With 31 tackle points in 10 games, Puneri Paltan captain Girish Maruti Ernak has led his team by example in Season 6. He has the second-most tackle points this campaign and has been a rock in the Left Corner for his team. Ernak has also managed three Super Tackles this campaign, showcasing that he is more than capable of walloping raiders on his own.

Ernak and Desai’s duels in this campaign have been closely matched with the raider slighting edging out the Corner by 5-3. But Ernak pulled off what was arguably the biggest moment in their duels so far when he tackled Desai in the final raid of the match in their first meeting in Chennai to earn his team a tie.

Key Khiladi –

Fazel Atrachali

Fazel Atrachali has been at his dominant best in Season 6, scoring a team-leading 29 tackle points in seven games. The Left Corner has outfoxed and outmuscled raider after raider this campaign and led his team to five wins in seven games.  His averages 4.14 tackle points, and is one among only three players who average more than four tackle points per game.

Nitin Tomar

Nitin Tomar’s outstanding campaign has seen him stay atop the scoring charts so far in VIVO Pro Kabaddi Season 6. While his average of 9.09 raid points in Season 6 is impressive on its own, the Maharashtra Derby has seen him elevate his game to another level. In the previous two games, Tomar has scored 28 raid points at an astonishing average of 14 raid points a game. It is safe to say that, the bigger the occasion is, the better Nitin Tomar performs.