Anup Kumar and his U Mumba team have kept their collective nerve to beat Haryana Steelers 29-28 in the fifth game of PKL 2017. The result helped Mumbai register their first win of the season after their loss to Puneri Paltan in the Maharashtra Derby on the opening day of the season.
Haryana Steelers find their feet after a nervy start
Haryana won the toss and took the court in the fifth match of PKL season five. U Mumba skipper Anup Kumar opened the proceedings for Mumbai with a raid point, however, they had a review turned down in the in the opening stages of the game before Surjeet Singh earned a bonus point for Haryana, which meant the two teams had split the first four points of the game equally. At that point, Haryana stepped up their game as Mumba managed three empty raids when Anup Kumar, Kashiling Adake, and Shabeer Bappu all failed in their respective raid attempts, which helped Haryana reduce the deficit to two points. The debutants then levelled the score at 8-all as Vikas Khandola managed a successful raid and this saw a shift in the momentum of the game as Haryana went on to establish a two-point lead - at 10-8. However, Joginder Narwal walked out of the end line and was declared out leaving Anup Kumar as the lone man for U Mumba on the mat who was taken out in the following raid as Haryana Steelers inflicted an all-out securing two extra points. That was also the end of the first half with Haryana having a four-point lead as the scorecard read 15-11.
Kashiling Adake scripts a brilliant comeback to help U Muma scamper home
After the break, Haryana consolidated their position in the game as Mumbai failed to get a successful raid, while Wazir and Khandola, for Haryana, remained successful in sending two opposition defenders off the mat, which helped Haryana open up a seven-point lead at 19-12. However, Anup Kumar’s exit owing to Vikas's successful raid paved the way for a super tackle by D Suresh as U Mumba started to claw back in the game with the scoreboard reading 15-18. But the game turned on its head when Adake managed a super raid followed by the U Mumba securing two extra points that inflicted an all-out on the Steelers going into a 23-20 lead. Wazir then managed to pull one back for Haryana but Vikas, the highest scorer for the Steelers, faltered as Mumba added one more point to their tally. With U Mumba having a three-point lead, skipper Anup brilliantly utilised time with an empty raid to keep the three-point cushion intact. Wazir then bolstered the team’s hopes fetching a total of two points to narrow the gap, but Kashiling again rose to the occasion and killed the time in the last raid of the match to fetch his side the first win of their tournament.
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