Mumbai :U Mumba overcame a fighting Bengaluru Bulls 36-30 in a thrilling summit clash to lift the second Star Sports Pro Kabaddi crown at a packed NSCI Stadium.
Starting the game as slight favourites, the Mumbai outfit had to stretch every sinew to get the better of their rivals from Bengaluru who fought tooth and nail but fell short at the end.
U Mumba came up with some magical play when the occasion demanded, especially in the closing stages of both sessions, to run out victors and take home the top prize of Rs one crore. The Bulls got Rs 50 lakh.
At half time U Mumba led 16-8 after a late surge from 7-all.
Earlier, in the 3rd-4th placing game, Telugu Titans from Hyderabad downed Patna Pirates 34-26, after leading 16-8 at half time, to finish third and get prize money of Rs 30 lakh. Pirates got Rs 20 lakh.
In the final match, U Mumba were held in check by the Bulls’ determined defence for the first 15 minutes of the opening half before they took control in both attack and tackling to take a 16-8 lead.
Such was the tackling skills exhibited by the Bulls, ably led by Dharmaraj Cheralathan, that at one stage Mumba’s star attackers, captain Anup Kumar and second raider Shabeer Bapu, were both warming the bench together after being trapped in raids.
The scores ran neck-to-neck till 7-all when U Mumba hit a purple patch in both attack and defence, in which Vishal Mane and raid specialist Rishank Devadiga excelled.
During this period, U Mumba secured raid points from Anup and Bapu while packing off rival raiders—captain Manjeet Chillar and Thakur—before making the Bulls all out by taking care of last man left—Deepak Dahiya—to get three points at a stretch.