U Mumba captain Fazel Atrachali had a night to remember as he marshalled the defence to beat defending champions Bengal Warriors 37-27 in match 111 of Pro Kabaddi League Season 8 on Saturday.
The “Sultan” clinched a High 5 (8 Tackle Points) in a remarkable game of Kabaddi where he sometimes single-handedly stopped opposition defender Maninder Singh from scoring. Right corner Rinku aided his captain with a High 5 (5 tackle points) while the Mumbai raiding duo of Ajith Kumar (9 points) and Abhishek Singh (8 points) ensured the points came in from the other side of the mat as well. The win will help Mumbai’s chances of making it to the Season 8 playoffs while Bengal Warriors looks unlikely to get an opportunity to defend their title.
The defences dominated the early minutes of the match with both Mumbai and Bengal taking an aggressive stance on the mat. Maninder Singh struggled to register a single point in the first 10 minutes as Mumbai took an early lead. But the defending champions shifted the balance of the match with a 3-point Super Raid by Manoj Gowda in the 11th minute. That gave Bengal the numerical advantage but Mumbai didn’t make the All Out easy. Ajith Kumar kept finding errors in the Warriors defence while Rinku pulled off a stunning Super Tackle.
Bengal finally got their All Out in the 17th minute when Maninder Singh evaded tackles from 2 defenders to cross the mid-line. That levelled the scores at 14-14. Maninder then clinched another 2-point raid to give Bengal a slender lead. But Mumbai captain Fazel Atrachali tackled Maninder successfully in the last move of the first half to send the Bengal captain to the dugout. At halftime, Bengal led by a solitary point (17-16).
Mumbai came all guns blazing in the second half and clinched an All Out in the 5th minute. Their defenders were hungry with Fazel Atrachali leading the line and securing a personal High 5. The team opened up an 8-point in the process and ensured that the gap stayed the same till the 10th minute. Abhishek Singh and Ajith Kumar kept finding easy points for Mumbai as the game slowly shifted away from Bengal. The Warriors looked unorganised in the defence and toothless in attack as the lead became 10 points with 5 minutes on the clock.
Rinku also secured his High 5 as U Mumba gave Bengal Warriors no chance to even reduce the lead. They won the match with a margin of 10 points to increase their playoff chances. Bengal remain 11th on the table and are unlikely to qualify for the playoffs with just two matches remaining.
Featured photo: Pro Kabaddi