U Mumba close out thrilling draw against Telugu Titans

The home team constructed a brilliant comeback to secure 3 points
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22st July, 2016, Mumbai: In a nail-biting night for home fans, U Mumba scripted a memorable tie against Telugu Titans to keep their play-off hopes alive despite having a lead of 9 points at one stage in the match. They now sit in fourth position with 35 points from 6 wins and 1 draw.
The match began at a pace that was uncomfortable for the Season 3 finalists who were quickly pushed onto the back foot and reduced to 4 men after star raider Rishank Devadiga and defensive duo Surjeet and Jeeva Kumar were eliminated. Telugu Titans were holding on to a lead of 4 points when captain Anup Kumar decided to take matters into his own hand and began the comeback process. Two touch points and Titans raider Rahul Chaudhari super tackled by Anup himself, the scores became level at 7 all after 10 minutes. This gave the home team the impetus to push forward for the early lead. Suresu Kumar managed to keep the ball rolling and returned with two points in a fantastic raid that saw him weave through the Titans defence. This pushed U Mumba into the lead and soon in a turn of events, with Sandeep Narwal as the Telugu Titans were all-out in the 16th minute with the score 13-7 in favour of the home team. So strong was the U Mumba defence that they managed to subdue both Rahul and former U Mumba raider Prapanjan to bring the score to 16-7 at half-time.
At this point, the home team had scored 10 points in succession without allowing the Titans to score even one point. But when the second half began, it seemed like a different Telugu Titans outfit had come to the mat. A gross error by substitute raider Surender Singh where he stepped into the lobby without touching any defender saw the lead built up by U Mumba being eaten away. Roles were reversed with Suresu and Anup unsuccessful in their raids, leading U Mumba to the inevitable all-out that came in the 27th minute with the score 17-16 in favour of the home team. A series of mistakes saw two men left on the mat for U Mumba when coach Bhaskaran decided to bring back Rishank who then began a frenetic two minutes of the game. First Rishank managed to get in a quick raid with a bonus point. Sandeep Narwal decided to chase him and managed to touch Rishank right when Rakesh Kumar stepped on to the mat. Rakesh then went in to raid and secured two points which brought the score to 22-23 after a manic two minutes. Barely a breather taken when Rahul Chaudhari was once again in the midst of a super tackle, this time orchestrated by Jeeva Kumar, levelling the scores at 24 all. A smart substitution of Vikash Kumar managed to get a touch point after Rakesh was tackled, thus ending the game 25 all and sharing the spoils around.
Captain Anup Kumar was glad about the result, noting that a loss would have complicated things. "We had the match in our hands but our defence slipped in the final moments. I'm glad we had a tie though because a loss would have made things difficult." Commenting on the rise in stature of Suresu Kumar as a key raider, Anup said, "Suresu is playing well. His footwork and dodging have been impressive."
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U Mumba will now take on Bengaluru Bulls in their third home match on 22nd July at Dome @ NSCI SVP Stadium.


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