Mumbai,July 19: A fully fit and charged Shabeer Babu Sharfuddin anchored U Mumba to their second consecutive win in the second edition of the Pro Kabaddi League today. Raiding with the clinical efficiency he is known to possess, he helped the Mumbai side wipe off an early deficit to register a 36-23 victory over Bengaluru Bulls. They were supposed to make a match of it but the failure of Ajay Thakur, especially in the second half dashed their chances after they took an initial lead by inflicting an all- out or ‘lona’ in Kabaddi terms.
U Mumba clawed back with Shabeer getting the Chillars, Manjit and Preetam in a single raid. The losers were down 19-12 at the break. To add to that Mumba’s Surinder Nada came up with top drawer stuff. Not only did he net in one rival raider after the other with his precision ankle holds but he came up with 8 successful raids to add to his utility value. Bengaluru got off to a good start as their defence functioned like a well-oiled machine. Anup Kumar failed to make a dent for the home side to arrest their rivals’ march. The trend was gradually reversed as Anup came up with a scintillating raid that inflicted upon the Bulls the first ‘lona’ to put them ahead in a commanding position at 18-12.
From there on it was all U Mumba all the way. Manjit Chillar known for his strong arm tactics also found it difficult to turn the tide as Rishank Devadiga and Surender kept tormenting them. Ajay was given some rough treatment and was once dismissed in a super tackle by Surender and Jeeva Kumar. Today’s win will serve as a notice for Patna Pirates and last year’s wooden-spooners Puneri Paltan who face them tomorrow and day after. The only worry for Mumba is Anup’s form. He has been below par considering his standards.