Patna: Young Bhupender Singh turned out to be the hero for U Mumba as he powered his team to a thrilling 27-22 win over Dabang Delhi in the second edition of Star Sports Pro Kabaddi here on Saturday.
U Mumba were down 20-21 with less than six minutes to go. But then Anup Kumar got the all-important all-out with two victims to send his side up 24-21 with the clock showing four minutes to go. Dabang Delhi led 14-11 at the half-way stage.
After clinching their seventh win in a row, U Mumba now are at the top with 35 points, a tally which is sure to give them a last four berth. Dabang Delhi earned a point to go up to 16 and maintain their fourth position.
Bhupender's super show has given U Mumba another option but Shabeer's lack of form is a definite reason for worry for the current leaders.
It was the heroics of the tall Bhupender which gave a cutting edge to U Mumba's attack. He came in when his side was trailing 6-9 at the Pataliputra Sports Complex.
Coming in as a substitute, Bhupender succeeded in first creating a big impression with a super raid to equalize and then went on to score 7 points from ten raids to boost Mumba's score when they were searching for options while their three raiders Shabeer Bapu, Risahank Devadiga and Captain Anup were on the bench.
Dabang Delhi, who had suffered a loss at the hands of hosts Patna Pirates yesterday, kept the rival defence under constant pressure with Rohit Kumar Choudhary and Kashiling Adake earning points at will.
In the first half, the duo contributed there points each but the real surprise came from the Delhi Captain Ravinder Singh Pahal who had six successful tackles till then. His tally of nine for the match is itself a record which he now shares with Jeeva Kumar of Mumba.
Dabang Delhi kept ahead of the league leaders at least by a couple of points but then things changed for them.
Captain Anup Kumar was in full praise for Bhupender.
"We started the match a little slowly and this put some pressure on us going into the second half, especially with Dabang Delhi leading by 3 points. This was why we made a few changes, taking Shabeer off and bringing on the youngster Bhupender worked for us," he said.
"This shows overall we have a good team and it's a good feeling when the youngsters perform."