Ajay Kumar, Gujarat's star of the night with seven points, clinched an important point in the last minute to earn his team a tie.
It was not the start that hosts Telugu Titans would have wished for as they lost the opening clash of the Pro Kabaddi League (PKL) Season 7 to U Mumba 25-3I.
It was a collective effort from U Mumba as raider Abhishek Singh scored a Super 10 and got equal support from Rohit Baliyan (4 points) and Sandeep Narwal (4 points). Their defenders also supported well with skipper Fazel Atrachali chipping in with 4 points and Srender Narwal with two points. U Mumba also inflicted a couple of all outs.
Titans’ star raider Siddharth Desai failed to replicate his last year’s show as he could only mangae to contribute 5 points while Rajnish was the top scorer with 8 points for Telugu Titans.
The hosts started well with raider Rajnish opening their account with a bonus point before Athul M.S. also successfully raided for U Mumba to make it 1-1 in the opening few minutes of the game. Rohit Baliyan’s unsuccessful raid helped the Titans take a one point lead but the visitors then tackled Siddharth Desai to level the score.
Another successful tackle by Abhishek Singh’s one point raid helped U Mumba make it 4-2 in the first 5 minutes. The Titans then failed in both the departments of the game as the visitors extended their lead to 8-4 in the next five minutes.
Rajnish then won a couple of points for his team as Titans cut the deficit to 6-8. However, Abhishek scored 2 points and inflicted an all out to extend U Mumba’s lead to 12-6. Titans’s star raider Siddharth failed yet again as his previous team once again tackled him to make it 13-6. The Titans then made two successful defence attempts to reach 8 points.
On the other hand, Abhishek and Athul kept on fetching points for their team as U Mumba collected 4 raid points in the last five minutes, while the hosts could only manage a couple as the first-half went in U Mumba’s favour with the score reading 17-10.
In the second half, both the teams went slow with Abhishek and Rohit scoring points in each of their attempts as U Mumba raced to 21 points while the Titans (12 points) could only manage 2, thanks to successful raids by Rajnish.
U Mumba then inflicted another all out to make it 24-14 in their favour in the 29th minute.
Both the sides then traded a raid point each before the Titans tackled Abhishek while Siddharth won a raid point as the hosts reached 17 points. With just six minutes left, the Titans showed some fight as Siddharth won a raid point before tackling Athul to cut the deficit to 19-25.
But U Mumba also stepped up as they scored 3 back-to-back tackle points to make it 28-19.
Abhishek then showed his mettle by a 2-pointer raid to take U Mumba to 30 points, leaving the Titans with just two men on mat.
U Mumba skipper Fazel Attrachali then failed to tackle Rakesh Gowda before the home side made a super tackle to reach 22 points. Siddharth then made 3 consecutive raids to take Titans to 25 points, but it wasn’t enough as in the dying moments of the game, Rohit fetched a raid point to hand the visitors a 31-25 victory.