Kolkata, Bengal Warriors beat U Mumba 29-26 in a closely-fought Pro Kabaddi League Season 7 contest here on Wednesday.
Sukesh Hegde (8 points) and Mohammad Nabibakhsh (4 tackle points) were the stars for the home side who had to rely on a Super Tackle by Rinku Narwal in the final minute to seal the match in front of the home fans at the Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Indoor Stadium.
U Mumba will take positives from the match despite the defeat with Arjun Deshwal impressing with a career-best tally of 14 raid points (15 in total).
The home side started on the backfoot as young Arjun Deshwal, on the back of a match-winning performance for the Mumbai side on Tuesday, started the game with a three-point Super Raid.
U Mumba’s recent turn in form has largely been down to the improved raiding by Arjun and Abhishek Singh, but Warriors ensured that they didn’t run away with the game after the initial minutes.
Maninder Singh, Mohammad Nabibakhsh and Sukesh Hegde (replacing K. Prapanjan in the line-up) soon got their act together as they capitalised on a poor defensive performance by U Mumba.
The Warriors clinched their first All-Out in the 16th minute to open up a six-point lead. Arjun’s Super Raid in the dying minutes of the first half, however, reduced the margin as the sides went into the break with score reading 16-13 in favour of Warriors.
The second half was a repeat of the first, as U Mumba’s good work in the raids continued to get undone by errors in the defence.
Arjun raced to his Super 10 for the Mumbai unit, but Warriors maintained their lead without having to break a sweat. Iranian all-rounder Mohammad Nabibakhsh impressed with his tackling while Sukesh Hegde proved to be an able replacement for Prapanjan as the home side clung on to their lead.
Fazel Atrachali’s calming presence on the mat rubbed off on U Mumba’s young raiders as they repaid his faith to cut the lead to a point with under a minute remaining. But Rinku Narwal came up with a massive Super Tackle in the final minute to seal the match for the home side.