Bengaluru, Dec 22 (IANS) Abhishek Singh was the star for U Mumba as they beat Bengaluru Bulls 46-30 in the inaugural match of Pro Kabaddi League season 8 held at The Sheraton Grand, Whitefield, here on Wednesday.
The U Mumba raider clinched a Super 10 (19 points) and was ably supported by the team’s defence in a statement victory by the Season 2 champions. Pawan Sehrawat had an off-day for Bengaluru Bulls who missed a quality third raider to support Chandran Ranjit and Pawan on the match.
The COVID pandemic meant there were no spectators at the stadium but that certainly didn’t take the energy away from the match. Interestingly, left corner specialist Amit Sheoran was not picked by the Bengaluru Bulls to start the match in an other predictable team selection for both sides.
The first raid of the season resulted in a successful tackle on the ‘high-flyer’ Pawan Sehrawat by Harendra Kumar. In fact the first minutes went on to be dominated by the team from Mumbai with Abhishek Singh picking up important raid points. Fazel Atrachali, captain of Mumbai in the left corner, had very little to do, as his defenders Harendra and Ashish Sangwan, ensured the Bulls raiders struggled to pick the points. U Mumba forced the game’s first ALL OUT in the 8 th minute and
opened up a 6-point lead (11-5).
But the Bulls, Season 6 champions, were in no mood to let Mumbai open up a healthy lead. Chandran Ranjit produced two Super Raids (3 or more points) for the Bulls to close the gap but Bengaluru failed to inflict an ALL OUT when Abhishek Singh revived his team with a 4-point Super Raid. The raider also clinched a Super 10 (10 or more points) in the process. At half time, U Mumba had a 7 point lead over Bulls (24-17).
The lack of do-or-die raids in the first half was testimony to the high pace with which the encounter was being played. The Bulls had just 1 tackle point in the half and they brought in Amit Sheoran. But that could not stop U Mumba from inflicting another ALL OUT in the second minute after restart.
U Mumba’s Ajith Kumar and the pack of defenders ensured the Bulls never narrowed points gap. Just as Bulls sensed a comeback, U Mumba’s ‘Sultan’ Fazel Atrachali produced a Super Tackle with 5 minutes in the clock and Ajith Kumar followed it up with a 3-point Super Raid. U Mumba fetched another all out with 3 minutes remaining to seal the match.