A defensive masterclass helped U Mumba break their duck against Gujarat Fortune grants and secure their first victory over the side in six attempts as they won 36-26 at the Thyagaraj Sports Complex in Delhi on Sunday.
Two veteran defenders, Dharmaraj Cheralathan and Rohit Rana, scored High5s as the team heaped on 17 tackle points on the night to consolidate their position at the top of Zone A.
K. Prapanjan started the night with his 200th Pro Kabaddi raid point as he got a touch on Rohit Rana. U Mumba, however, took control of the game soon after as Rohit Baliyan contributed in both offense and defense to put them 6-3 up.
An Ankle Hold by Dharmaraj Cheralathan on Dong Geon Lee helped U Mumba inflict their first All-Out of the game in the 5th minute to gain a 5-point lead. Cheralathan also got his 200th tackle point in Pro Kabaddi with that tackle.
The teams continued trading blows as Gujarat Fortunegiants reduced the deficit to just two points soon. But U Mumba held on to their lead through Fazel Atrachali, who managed to get an Ankle Hold on Sachin to ensure that his team went into halftime with a slender three-point advantage and an interesting second half to follow.
The two teams started the second half playing on the Do-or-Die raids as the defensive units took control of the proceedings. The tacklers combined to get the first four points of the half before Sachin got the first raid point with a touch on Rajaguru Subramanian in the 6th minute.
Siddharth Desai then started turning the game around just like he did on Saturday as he slowly started picking off the Gujarat Fortunegiants players. Rana Dashed Shubham Palkar out of the playing area to reduce Gujarat Fortunegiants to a solitary player on the mat before Desai got a touch on Sunil Kumar to help U Mumba inflict their second All-Out of the game in the 10th minute with the scores reading 27-17.
U Mumba’s defense took over after the All-Out, not allowing Gujarat Fortunegiants a sniff at the deficit. With the U Mumba lead at six points, Cheralathan came up with a vital Super Tackle on Sachin, assisted by Abolfazl Maghsoudlou in the 17th minute to give him his first High 5 of the season. This was the defining moment of the match and put U Mumba well and truly on the path of victory.
Rana was solid in defense as well and also managed his first High 5 of the season with an Ankle Hold on Prapanjan in the 19th minute. By this time, U Mumba had an eleven-point lead. Sachin Vittala came in with a pursuit in the game’s last raid and managed to get two points. However, by this point, U Mumba had already secured their first victory over Gujarat Fortunegiants.