Classy U Mumba crush hapless Puneri Paltan

New Delhi: U Mumba produced a clinical performance to thrash Puneri Paltan 44-28 in today`s first match in the Pro Kabaddi League here at the Thyagraj Stadium.

The Union Information & Broadcast minister Prakash Javadekar also dropped in at the venue to watch the proceedings for some time.

U Mumba stamped their authority as Shabeer Pathapalem and Jeeva Kumar stole limelight as they were adjudged `Star Raider` and `Best Defender` respectively while captain of Puneri Paltan, Wazir Singh scored maximum points for his team.

U Mumba showed their attacking intents from the very outset as they opened a 9-1 lead but Paltans showed their resilience as some defensive errors by Umumba helped them reduce the margin.

At the end of the first half U Mumba were leading by a slender 18-17 margin.

In the second half, U Mumba came out all guns blazing as they took full advantage of Paltan`s weak defence. In the last section, Pune team lost both mental and physical battle as U Mumba dished out a superlative performance both in raids and defence as they eventually clich the tie.

With this win, U Mumba now cemented their spot in the top of the points table with 28 points and still remain unbeaten in six matches. They will now take on Bengaluru Bulls in the first match tomorrow.

Meanwhile, hosts Dabang Delhi lost 31-36 against Patna in the second match of the day which was graced by veteran BJP leader L K Advani at the Thyagraj stadium here.

Waseem Sajjad and Ravi Dalal stole the limelight as they were rightfully adjudged best defender and star raider while Shrikant Tewthia scored maximum points for the Delhi outfit.

Going into today`s tie, both teams were languishing at the bottom half of points table.

Initially in the first half both the teams made unsuccessful raids as they looked to play safe. But it was the visitors who got going by packing off the entire home team twice.

Delhi tried hard to reduce the margin but their attackers looked off colour, particularly last match`s top scorer Surjeet Narwal as Patna took a comfortable 12-19 lead.

Ravi Dalal for Patna was brilliant as he torn apart the Delhi defence.

Patna arrived in the city after being beaten comprehensively by Jaipur`s Pink Panthers in their last match in the Kolkata leg.

With a boisterous crowd behind them, the home team looked much more positive in their approach and slowly staged a comeback in the second half and one time was trailing by just three points -- 21-24.

But a gritty display by the Patna defence again outwitted the Delhi outfit.

Patna got extra six points for packing off the entire Delhi team thrice for a `lona`.

Delhi will now take on Abhisekh Bacchan-owned Jaipur Pink Panthers in the second match tomorrow.

Veteran leader Advani congratulated the organisers for holding such a tournament, which he hoped would bring back the ancient game of kabaddi back into limelight.

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