The second match of VIVO Pro Kabaddi Season 5 opening day pitched both the teams from Maharashtra against each other in Hyderabad on Friday evening. U Mumba, captained by talismanic raider Anup Kumar, had the likes of Kashiling Adake (the player with the second highest raid points in the league), and the experienced Shabeer Bappu, while Deepak Hooda’s Puneri Paltan boasted the likes of Sandeep Narwal and Dharmaraj Cheralathan. It was an encounter between Mumbai’s attack and Pune’s defence – a treat for fans at the stadium as well as those cheering from afar.
Anup won the toss for U Mumba and chose the court. The Paltan sent Rajesh Mondal as their first raider but it ended in an empty raid. ‘Captain Cool’ Anup then started the raid attempt for U Mumba, trying hard for a bonus point but nothing came off it. Both teams’ second raids were helmed by star raiders – Hooda for Pune and Bappu for Mumbai, but again the status quo remained. However, due to a mistake from the U Mumba defenders, a technical point was awarded to the opposition which opened the scoring.
The 5th minute saw the first do-or-die raid of the match where U Mumba sent in Adake but the Paltan tackled well to push him off the mat. By the 9th minute, a situation of ‘All Out’ was about to occur for U Mumba but the lone player on the mat, Anup, managed to garner a raid point and delay the inevitable. The 10th minute saw the first ‘All Out’ of the match when Kuldeep Singh was tackled by the Paltan defence.
Pune owned the show until the 13th minute before U Mumba got their very first tackle point of the season through Anup’s brilliant ankle hold. Just before half-time, Pune made two brilliant super tackles to ensure the gap in the scoreline remained in their favour at 17-10.
The second half started with Bappu entering the opponent ring but he failed to garner a point as he was tackled off the mat. Nitin Madane and Surinder Singh soon joined U Mumba on the mat to bring more stability to the unit. In the 25th minute, the brilliance of Deepak Hooda resulted in the second ‘All Out’ of the day for U Mumba. The next 15 minutes saw a series of empty and do-or-die raids come to pass, with the Paltan trying to slow down the momentum of the match and keep their lead intact. U Mumba sent Kuldeep for their last raid of the match; however, he was successfully tackled by the opposition. This was the Paltan’s second win in nine matches against U Mumba in the history of the league.
U Mumba will now face debutants Haryana Steelers on July 30 in Hyderabad, while Puneri Paltan will face Dabang Delhi K.C. on August 4 in Nagpur.