Comeback kings U Mumba outwit U.P. Yoddha in PKL

U Mumba bounced back in style to beat U.P. Yoddha 37-34 in the opening tie of the Lucknow leg of the Pro Kabaddi League's (PKL) fifth season at the Babu Banarasi Das Indoor Stadium here on Friday. The first half of the tie witnessed domination by the home side before the visitors clawed back, thanks to Shabeer Bapu's 13-raid points and skipper Anup Kumar's eight points.  Rishank Devadiga scored 14 points for U.P. Yoddha but it wasn't enough for the home side to get over the line in their maiden home encounter. Skipper Nitin Tomar gave the hosts a perfect start with the first raid of the match, before young gun Rishank Devadiga came up with a stunning piece of play to add three more points and make it 4-0. The visitors opened their account, thanks to star raider and Mumba skipper Anup Kumar's successful raid point.  But Tomar made his intentions clear to gain another raid point for the hosts as U.P. lead by 5-1 before Rishank won his fourth raid point of the day to extend their lead to 6-2.  An all out was inflicted on U Mumba in the ninth minute as they railed 4-12 before the visitors, on a comeback trail took down Rishank and Mahesh Goud while Shabeer Bapu made it a two point game by winning a touch point during his raid.  Shabeer once again starred for the visitors, by getting rid of two Yoddha defenders during his raid as Mumba trailed by just 3 points at the break. After the break U Mumba bounced back strongly as they inflicted an all out in the first minute to level the game at 16-16.  U Mumba stretched their lead to 19-17 in the 22nd minute as they sent Tomar to the bench. Rishank scored two points for UP as they led 20-19 after 25 minutes. Rishank scored three points in the 26th minute as UP led 23-22 but Darshan Kadian responded with a two-point raid in the next minute to get back the lead for the visiting side. U.P. Yoddha then inflicted the second all out in the 30th minute to lead 29-26. But Shabeer with his 11th point of the match in the 32nd minute helped U Mumba reduce the gap to 28-31.  Darshan got another two-point raid in the 34th minute as U Mumba levelled the match at 31-31. With less than five minutes to go, U Mumba inflicted their second all out to lead 35-31.  U.P. Yoddha cut the deficit to two points as they trailed 33-35 after 37 minutes even as U Mumba held their nerves in the final two minutes of the match to clinch the tie 37-34.