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 here on Sunday night.
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.
This period was ultimately the turning point in the game. In the second half, Mumbai led 23-18 when Thakur came up with a super raid to secure five points, by packing off three rivals and making U Mumba all out.
Then the Bulls even led 24-23 when Mumba's captain Anup was trapped but the Mumbai outfit hit back strongly and regained the initiative with some excellent attack and solid defending to emerge deserving winners.
Shabeer Bapu led the Mumbai attack with ten points while Anup got six touch points and one for tackling. The surprise packet was Rishank Devadiga who played a good all-round game to get five points along with Mane who stole the show in defence.
For the Bulls, Manjeet Chillar was the stand out player with 11 points to his credit, including seven touch and two for tackling. Thakur got three touch points in one raid while Dharmaraj Cheralathan did well in defence to get four points.
Overall Mumbai trailed their rivals 17-18 in attack but made up for these with superior defence (14-10) and all-outs (4-2). They also got one bonus point.
Earlier, Telugu Titans beat Patna Pirates 34-26 to finish third.
Pirates got all out twice and also were 1-4 in the bonus point ratio. While Titans led their rivals 19-15 in raid points the only area where the Pirates excelled was in defense as they secured 10 tackle points as compared to the Titans' seven.
In attack, Titans were led by Rahul Chaudhari (10 raid points, including nine touch points) and K Prashant Rai with six points that included five touch points while all-rounder Deepak Hudda secured five points in offence and defense combined.
For the losers, captain Sandeep Narwal was outstanding with his all-round effort that fetched him 11 points, including eight in attack. He was given good support by defender Sunil Kumar who got six tackle points but most others disappointed.