Mumbai: U Mumba notched up their third win in four games when they edged out Patna Pirates 36-33 in the final game of the Mumbai leg to remain on top of the table in the Star Sports Pro Kabaddi League at the NSCI Stadium here tonight.
Riding once again on the raiding skills of Anup Kumar (10 points) and Shabeer Bapu Sharafuddin (9), U Mumba fought off their rivals, spearheaded by the league's highest paid player (12.80 lakh) and India captain Rakesh Kumar, to take their points tally to 18.
The two teams were level (19-all) at the halfway stage of the game. The strongly built Rakesh was the highest point-getter in the match, raking in 15 points, but he lacked support from his teammates in the attack with Ravi Dalal the next best with 6 points.
Playing their first game in the tournament, Patna took some time to settle down against the well-grooved home team and quickly trailed 5-12 after being all out to concede a 'lona'. Rakesh led their revival with some good raids and some sound defending brought them some points as they caught up U Mumba at 18 before the teams went on level terms at half time. The home team surged to a 24-20 lead soon after the break and then went ahead 29-23 by effecting the second all out on their rivals for another 'lona' which gave them an additional two points.
Trying their level best to narrow the gap, Patna came back from 27-34 when four minutes remained on the clock before finally losing by 3 points. Overall, Patna held the edge in raids (23-22) but lagged in tackles (7-9) and the two all outs, as compared to one of U Mumba, also tilted the scales the home team's way.
Trailing U Mumba on the points table and in second place were Bengaluru Bulls (10) while Delhi Dabang (5) were third who will go into the second leg of the event to be held in Kolkata from tomorrow.