Thursday, 14th July 2016, Bengaluru: There are rivalries and there is the Pink Panthers – UMumba rivalry in the Pro Kabaddi League. With team and personal rivalries running deep and very apparent through the night, much to every fans delight, UMumba won, yet again, 29-23 and found themselves settling into a familiar spot on the league table amongst the top 4.
In a very low scoring but intense first half, battle lines were drawn, the UMumba rivalry against the boys in Pink was apparent through staring contests off the mat and some skillful touches on the mat. With a first half that ended in favour for the men in Pink, 10-9, the fair play award clearly belonged to UMumba with the Jaipur Pink Panthers having lost all their challenges for the game just 20 minutes in, Anup often calling all Jasvir’s bluff’s. 10 minutes from start, UMumba kicked-off their campaign in the only way they start – in the lead, leading 4-3, in a very surprising low scoring first half. 14 minutes into the first half, the Panthers took the lead away, only slightly, with a sole point, 6-5. Rakesh equalled it out to match it 6-6 and the UMumba boys followed through, following every successful raid of the Panthers by one of their own – allowing the Panthers only a sliver of a lead at the end of the first half – 10-9.
The second half was when it was apparent that the slim lead, was a smoke screen created by the Mumboys to lear the panthers into their den. Opening the second half, Captain Cool stepped in and stepped out with a single point and a huge smile, levelling scores at 10-10 while Jasvir sneered in the corner. With both teams matching point to point, all through to the 28th minute, Super Suresu returned with two tackle points to bring back the lead to UMumba, 12-15. In the lead, Anup and Company spared no one, tackling Amit Nagar and their favorite Jasvir Singh in the 30th minute to increase the Orange-Black lead 14-20. An angry Jasvir, licking his wounds in the Panther’s den, came back for pride in the 32nd minute, left with a point but not enough for the Panthers who continued to trail UMumba all the way to the 36th minute 18-23. Leads are meant to be wide, Rakesh picked up a raid point in the 24th minute to make the scores 18-24 while also stroking a sulking Jasvir who had tried to cry foul but just earned himself a green card. Time-Out in 37th minute, with scores in favour of UMumba, 25-18, Rakesh strolled in and out before Super Suresu ended the night on the buzzer with a point on the panthers and defeating old rivals 29-23.
With two victories in a row against the panthers, Captain Kumar was practical on his analysis of the game, “I have seen that Jaipur’s left side is weak. We exploited that with the talents of Suresu and Rakesh. Rakesh exploits the weak left link of the Panthers and comes back to support me in the middle and bag us some vital points. It’s good to beat Jaipur twice in the row, but it’s not luck,its good team work”
Anup awarded Best Raider, Surjeet Best Defender, Suresu Kumar bags Moment of the match.