Mumbai, July 27: The Mumbai leg of the Pro Kabaddi League Season 7 began with the Maharashtra Derby on Saturday (July 27) at the Dome@NSCI stadium. Hosts U Mumba took on Puneri Paltan in an exciting contest and started their first home game on a winning note as they registered the win by 33-23.
Indian Cricket team Captain Virat Kohli graced the event and shared his Kabaddi moments and interacted in the pre-show. Kohli enjoyed the match and was seen cheering the teams.
Virat Kohli, Team India Captain (Cricket) opened the Mumbai leg of PRO KABADDI season 7, sharing his love for kabaddi said, "Kabaddi has taken a leap in the sports culture in our country since the inception of the Pro Kabaddi League. Seeing a sport that we all have played as kids to get to this stature today gives a different feeling altogether especially when you know that the Indian kabaddi team is one of the best ones throughout the world.
"Then seeing how players from all over the globe come to India to be a part of the Pro Kabaddi League shows that the level of the sport has been escalated exponentially. The reason kabaddi has become a world recognized sport is due to the fitness and determination of the Indian kabaddi players."
On the match front, U Mumba commenced their home leg at NSCI Stadium and it couldn't have been better than a Maharashtra Derby to start with. Anup Kumar faces his old side as he comes back as the coach of Puneri Paltan. Arjun Deshwal hits a masterstroke for U Mumba as he gained 5 touch points since entering in the 4th minute. A strong performance by Surjeet Singh was overshadowed by his rivals as Fazel "Sultan" Atrachali, Surinder Singh and Sandeep Narwal were threat to Puneri Paltan.
Both the teams went for the defensive plan with Fazel Atrachali and Surjeet Singh taking the call. They played the match on Do-Or-Die Raids with both teams finding picking the crucial points. This made the first half to be low scoring but equally intriguing half with patience playing the major hand. The first spring of electric action came in the 4th minute as Shubham Shinde caught a napping Abhishek Singh returning to his half of the court which helped Pune take the lead by 2-3.
Fazel then made his mark on the match with a strong double thigh hold on the tall Manjeet to get the Super Tackle in the 8th minute. It was a constant close call to tip the match on one side. Abhishek Singh made the important move in the 17th minute when he got rid of Surjeet Singh in his Super Tackle effort. The half ended with the score favouring U Mumba at 11-9.
Puneri Paltan started the second half with just two men on the mat and U Mumba starting the half with the raids. Amit Kumar was the last nail to be hit when his raid became unsuccessful with him entering the lobby without a touch in the 21st minute to make U Mumba's lead 15-9. Rohit Baliyan's pursuit after Pawan Kadian's raid got a similar result when he got rid of Surjeet Singh which started the domino effect leading to Puneri Paltan being again All Out in the 32nd minute.
Arjun Deshwal turned out to be the Super-Sub for U Mumba as he got rid of Manjeet and Surjeet Singh. Pune brought in Sushant Sail to get some pace in the mat which he duly provided as he caught both defensive experts of U Mumba as he got Fazel Atrachali and Surinder Singh in successive raids.
The 37th moment caught the Sushant Sail turn towards his half in the raid to find the mighty Sandeep Narwal with a block to make the score line 31-21. The match ended with U Mumba topping their rivals Puneri Paltans by 33-23.
Source: PKL Media