Showing posts with label u Mumba. Show all posts
Showing posts with label u Mumba. Show all posts

U Mumba takes over the Red FM studio in Mumbai


24th June 2016: Red FM, in true Bajate Raho spirit, took the ‘panga’ as the team proudly brought star players of the U Mumba team to the Red FM Studios in Mumbai. Red FM, being the official radio partner for U Mumba, invited Team captain Anup Kumar along with players Rakesh Kumar, Rishank Devadiga and Vikas Kale for a fun session with RJ J Man. The Season 2 Star Sports Pro Kabbadi Champions, dazzled with their wit and charm and shared a chatty and exciting hour with RJ J Man. RJ J Man also joined the U Mumba team for a training session, including playing Kabaddi. RJ J Man raided twice and was once caught by the U Mumba team.

U Mumba takes over the Red FM studio in Mumbai


The team shared their experience of playing for U Mumba in the Star Sports Pro Kabbadi League and how this platform has helped them enhance their game. Some of the players also highlighted how the league had also helped improve their financial standing.

The Red FM team put forward 3 challenges to the U Mumba team with RJ J Man challenging vice-captain Rakesh Kumar to – (1) Push up challenge (2) Vada Pav eating challenge (3) Bollywood Dialogue Delivery challenge. RJ J Man got Red FM off to a winning start by winning the push up challenge, while the U Mumba vice-captain Rakesh Kumar equalized by winning the vada pav challenge. The winner of the final challenge will be decided by fans on social media – as they will have to decide who delivered the Bollywood dialogue better.

The exciting takeaways from their visit were their love for Bollywood and cinema actors. Rishank showed us that he is a true Salman Khan fan as he mimicked the popular filmstar’s dialogue into ‘Ek baar jo main raid karne chala geya toh main aapne coach ki bhi nahi sunta’. Rakesh managed to mimick Sunny Deol with ‘Kutte main tera khoon pee jaonga”. Anoop said his favourite actress is Deepika Padukone and his favourite movie is Bhaag Milkha Bhaag, a sports biopic, while Rakesh likes Mary Kom. It was a gala time in the studio as the team sang “main jaat yaamla paagla deewana”.


Red FM dared to take the panga a few notches higher as the Red FM team challenged the U Mumba team to an arm-wrestling match. The U Mumba players proved that nothing can really beat ‘doodh-and-desi-ghee’ as it was a clean sweep with U Mumba winning 4-0, ensuring that the Red FM RJs were left nursing their forearms.  

This is the third season of Red FM’s partnership with U Mumba, the Mumbai City Franchise of the Star Sports Pro Kabaddi League.


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New faces, new challenges for consistent U Mumba

New faces, new challenges for consistent U Mumba




The Season 3 finalists begin Season 4 at home with matches against Jaipur Pink Panthers and Puneri Paltan


24th  June, 2016, Mumbai  :  It's all about embracing the new as U Mumba dust off the memories of Season 3 and gear up for a fresh new season of Star Sports Pro Kabaddi. The opening leg of Season 4 kicks off at their home ground with matches against Jaipur Pink Panthers and Puneri Paltan on the 25th and 26th of June respectively.
New faces, new challenges for consistent U Mumba

The mood in the camp is extremely positive at the moment as coach E Bhaskaran along with his assistant coach Ravi Shetty have rebuilt a squad that was known for its consistent performances across all seasons. With the inclusion of raiders like Gurvinder Singh and Surender Singh and defenders like Vikas Kale and Sunil, the U Mumba outfit that will turn up on Saturday for their opening game promises to display that same level of consistency as displayed before. Coach Bhaskaran is confident that since joining the team, these players are now U Mumba players and possess the skill and tenacity to compete as one strong unit. "The senior players like Anup and Rakesh have been extremely brotherly towards the new players which has made them feel part of a family - the U Mumba family. This camaraderie will definitely be seen when the starting seven take the mat on Saturday." Continues Bhaskaran sir.


Facing Jaipur Pink Panthers and Puneri Paltan on their home turf will throw up familiar challenges for the Mumbai franchise with former U Mumba star raider Shabeer Bapu part of the Jaipur outfit while Surender, a former Puneri Paltan player, now playing for U Mumba.


Coach Bhaskaran said that their strategy will focus on beating the starting seven of each game, not specifically pointing out individuals who could possibly influence the game. "Ultimately, we have to base our strategy on the starting seven that Puneri Paltan choose and even though we need to look at individuals, we need to consider opponents as a whole team."

Playing at home is always considered an advantage and with U Mumba regarded as 'lions' in their own backyard, it will be interesting to see how the Season 3 finalists fare with what will essentially be two home legs in Season 4. The coach is confident that their vociferous fan support will motivate the players to begin the season with two solid wins.

When describing the depth of the squad, the coach conceded that while it was different from the previous season, he is satisfied with the balance of the squad because there are multiple players for each position. "All the players of our squad are extremely talented and skilled and we now have a problem on our hands for selecting the starting seven. But the players know that the best starting seven will be selected for every match depending on the type of opponent that we are facing." Concluded Bhaskaran sir.

Ultimately the true test of character will be on Saturday, 25th of June as U Mumba take on Jaipur Pink Panthers.
Come Saturday, a new-look U Mumba will take on Jaipur Pink Panthers in Mumbai


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U Mumba Players Face Off against each other in the Courtyard Mariott Kitchen



June 15 2016,  12.10 PM IST || Pocket News Alert

Putting their cooking hats on, some of the U Mumba players teamed up to cook off with the assistance of two brilliant chefs at the Courtyard Marriott on Tuesday afternoon. On a day where the winner would be decided based on taste and appearance of the food, captain Anup Kumar and local boy Rishank Devadiga each were partnered up with the new boys of U Mumba, Manoj Dhull and Sunil Kumar respectively.

U Mumba Players Face Off against each other in the Courtyard Mariott Kitchen



Armed with a set menu and the guidance of the chefs, the MumBoys whipped up four superb dishes in just an hour, encouraged by the cheers of their fellow teammates. As coaches Bhaskaran and Ravi Shetty looked on in amusement, plating was complete and it was time for the judgement.

Rishank and Sunil had prepared Dal Fry and Bhindi Aloo while Anup and Manoj had prepared Gobi and Jeera Rice. After a careful round of testing by both coaches and the two chefs, Rishank and Sunil were adjudged the winners of the Cook-Off.

U Mumba Players Face Off against each other in the Courtyard Mariott Kitchen

(L-R) Manoj Dhull and Anup Kumar weigh their dishes gainst the ones cooked by Rishank Devadiga and Sunil Kumar

U Mumba Players Face Off against each other in the Courtyard Mariott Kitchen

Captain Anup Kumar seasoning his dish with precision

U Mumba Players Face Off against each other in the Courtyard Mariott Kitchen
Manoj Dhull, Anup Kumar and Rishank Devadiga share cooking tips
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U Mumba retain faith in stalwarts like Rakesh and Jeeva Kumar


May 13,  21.09 PM IST || Pocket News Alert

U Mumba retain faith in stalwarts like Rakesh and Jeeva Kumar

13th May, 2016, Mumbai: The 2015 Pro Kabaddi champions, U Mumba were happy to be able to retain 4 of their key players from the season 3 squad that made it to the finals of Pro Kabaddi Season 3. With the mandate of teams being able to retain only two players from their Season 3 squad prior to today's auction, U Mumba had decided to retain Captain Anup Kumar and star raider Rishank Devadiga.


The auction got off to a brilliant start for the Season 3 finalists as they were able to buy back vice captain Rakesh Kumar as well as senior defender Jeeva Kumar. Both were key to the team's fortunes last season, especially when captain Anup Kumar was away on national duty.

U Mumba filled their quota of international players by selecting three raiders from Bangaldesh: Md. Aruduzzaman Munshi (who had previously been with U Mumba in Season 1), Md. Zakir Hossain and Md. Tuhin Tarafder.


On the Indian front, the new additions included raiders Gurvinder Singh, Surendra Singh and the retained Suresu Kumar. In defence, U Mumba snapped up Sunil Kumar, from the Season 3 Patna Pirates title winning squad; and defender Manoj Dhull from Maharashtra rivals Puneri Paltan and local boy Vikas Kale from Telugu Titans. U Mumba will begin their camp in preparation for Season 4 right away.

"Our team is a balanced side of experience and youth, like our earlier team. We are also delighted in the fact that once you are a U Mumba player, your brand value goes up greatly. Our coach and captain are believers that only a team with faith in themselves can reach the very top," said Supratik Sen, CEO U Sports.

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U Mumba aiming for strong finish in home leg of Star Sports Pro Kabaddi




February 27 2016,  16.59 PM IST || Pocket News Alert


Captain Anup Kumar and coach E Bhaskaran confident of good showing at home


27th February, 2016, Mumbai: An air of optimism hovered over the room as the U Mumba quartet along with coach E Bhaskaran, CEO Supratik Sen and owner Ronnie Screwvala took their seats at the T-1 press conference at DOME @NSCI, Mumbai. The defending champions projected a sense of confidence and coolness sitting on the 2nd position in the league table with 40 points in 10 games. While the domination displayed by the home team differs from the demolishment carried out in Season 2, individual performances like that of Rishank Devadiga and Fazel Atrachali have spurred the team to fight hard for each win.

Owner of U Mumba, Ronnie Screwvala was complimentary of the stability demonstrated by the team from the first season. "It has been a testament to coach Bhaskaran and the entire team at U Mumba along with our captain Anup Kumar that we have remained so successfully stable for so long. This success only adds to the growth of the sport which is what we are aiming at currently. The popularity of the sport has increased through an increase in the viewership which ultimately benefits the sport."


The previous two seasons saw U Mumba host their home leg as the opener for the league. This season sees them end the league before the play-offs and finals to be held in New Delhi. The captain is confident that it doesn't make a difference when their leg is scheduled. "The fans have always supported us in great numbers and we are positive that this time, it will be the same. Ending the league stage at home doesn't make much difference to us. We will strive to earn maximum points from the leg and aim to qualify for the semi-finals."

When asked about the difference from the last two seasons in terms of competition amongst teams and individual players, both Rishank Devadiga and Vishal Mane agreed that the league has become tougher in Season 3. "The competition to become the top raider and defender has definitely become tougher with new players from Services now playing in the league. Every team has brought in new players and changed their style of playing. This makes each match a good fight and exciting to play. This is also great for the league because the quality of games has risen greatly making it enjoyable for the fans to watch." elaborates Mane.

On the question of their potential opponents in the semi-finals, all eyes fell on coach Bhaskaran and his thoughts on the table toppers Patna Pirates who suffered their only defeat of the season (so far) against the defending champions. "Patna is a very good team with strong raiders like Rohit Kumar and Pardeep Narwal. They have been playing very well throughout this season and for us to beat them at home, we had to give a 110% on the mat. First of all, we need to focus on reaching the semi-finals and finishing as high as we can aim to finish. Once that is accomplished, we will work towards preparing our strategy accordingly."

While it does look certain that U Mumba are on course to qualify for the semi-finals barring a freak mishap, it will be interesting to see how their team selection will unfold with Surender Nada returning to full fitness while Fazel continues his top performance,  giving the coaching staff a bit of a selection issue. "Fazel has been playing brilliantly for us since the boys went away on national duty. When we returned, we saw no reason to take him out of the team because he was comfortable under pressure situations. When the time is right, we will decide to play Surender based on the coach's advice. Ultimately, we want to play our best starting seven and as of now, Fazel is a part of that starting seven," concludes Anup.

With team morale riding high before the defending champions take on Jaipur Pink Panthers on the 28th of February, one thing remains constant - U Mumba will come out with their hearts on their sleeves in front of their home crowd to push to defend their title.

U Mumba aiming for strong finish in home leg of Star Sports Pro Kabaddi
 Photo caption: (L-R) Vishal Mane, Rishank Devadiga, Rakesh Kumar, Bhaskaran Edachery (Coach, U Mumba), Supratik Sen (CEO, U Sports), Ronnie Screwvala (Owner, U Mumba), Anup Kumar (Captain, U Mumba)


U Mumba aiming for strong finish in home leg of Star Sports Pro Kabaddi


Photo caption: Fazel Atrachali in action in U Mumba's encounter against Bengal Warriors in Pune in Season 3 of Star Sports Pro Kabaddi
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U Mumba pull off their biggest win of Season 3




February 25 2016,  23.16 PM IST || Pocket News Alert

The defending champions completely dominate Bengaluru Bulls in their final away game



25th February, 2016, New Delhi: In a thrilling display of strength and dominance, defending champions U Mumba thrash Bengaluru Bulls 39-18 at the Thyagaraj Indoor Stadium in New Delhi. The defending champions showed complete confidence in their abilities and performed like a well oiled machine.



The first half saw another quick all out secured by U Mumba in the 9th minute with Rishank Devadiga entering the Bulls den with only one player left. The score being 7-2 at the time, it became apparent that a repeat of their previous encounter in Kolkata was simply a one off occurrence. The U Mumba train steam rolled the raiders that entered their den including Bulls captain Surjeet Narwal who barely had a chance to show his prowess against the likes of Fazel Atrachali and Mohit Chhillar. A smartly timed chase by Rakesh Kumar was the highlight of the first half with good tackles by Jeeva Kumar preventing the flighty Pawan Kumar from escaping his hold.



Half-time saw the defending champions lead by 11 points, the same lead that the Bulls had at half time in the previous encounter. But U Mumba weren't going to let go of their chokehold on the game so easily. A second all-out was secured in the 22nd minute when Rakesh Kumar was sent in to raid with two players left and stretched to reach the midline with seconds remaining on the clock. There were hardly any mistakes committed by the defence which prompted coach E Bhaskaran to send in Bhupender Singh, Pawan Kumar and K Prapanjan for some match time before the home matches begin on 28th February. The round of substitutions came after a brilliant super raid from captain Anup Kumar who looked to be back in roaring form with consecutive returns from his raids. The third all out of the match was secured at the half hour mark when Rakesh's running touch left Shrikant Tewthia to raid for the Bulls. The latter was eventually tackled and this gave U Mumba a lead of 20 points. Despite Fazel earning a yellow card for unnecessary action, the celebrations were as vociferous as ever with the defending champions extending their winning streak to 6 matches including earning their biggest win of Season 3.


Captain Anup Kumar mentioned in his pre match interview about the impact that Rishank has had in their wins so far. He reiterated this point as the raider earned 7 points including a tackle point today against the Bulls. "Rishank has been making his mark throughout our matches this season. When we had gone away for the South Asian Games, he took it upon himself to lead the attack and did brilliantly. He has extremely quick footwork which makes it difficult for the defence to hold onto him. His agility also allows him to escape most defensive holds."


Seeing as this is the last match before the team travel back to Mumbai to prepare for their home leg, Anup was confident that they would give their home fans a good showing. "It will be great playing at home and in a way, we are happy that the final leg of this season is in Mumbai. We have four tough matches and for a chance to finish at the top of the table, we need to come out in full strength and get maximum points from those four matches."


U Mumba take on arch rivals Jaipur Pink Panthers at Dome @ NSCI SVP Stadium in Mumbai on the 28th of February to begin their home leg of Season 3 of Star Sports Pro Kabaddi.

Rishank Devadiga tormented the Bengaluru Bulls with his raids


The defending champions completely dominate Bengaluru Bulls in their final away game

The defending champions completely dominate Bengaluru Bulls in their final away game

Bengaluru Bulls' Pritam Chillar gets trapped by Fazel Athrachali
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U Mumba hoping to continue winning streak before start of home leg



February 24 2016,  19.17 PM IST || Pocket News Alert

The defending champions take on last season's runners up Bengaluru Bulls in Delhi


24th February, 2016, New Delhi: Aiming to increase their chance of a place in the semi-finals before the start of their home leg, defending champions U Mumba arrived in New Delhi full of confidence and vigour. A thumping 30-17 win over Bengal Warriors in Season 3 of Star Sports Pro Kabaddi re-established their dominance that was prevalent in Season 2, their title winning season. They will now take on Bengaluru Bulls, their opponents in the Season 2 final at the Thyagaraj Indoor Stadium in New Delhi.

Coach Bhaskaran credits the type of training carried out by the coaching staff for the absence of injuries so far from the U Mumba camp in Season 3. Practice sessions before the league focussed on getting the starting combination right and match scenarios being played out. During the league though, match-day practice sessions have been solely building fitness and stamina while non match-day practice sessions involved polishing particular skill sets of each player.

The changes to the regular starting seven for the champions have risen from other issues - mainly the brilliance of Fazel Atrachali who grabbed the opportunity given to him by the collar and never let go. Put in place of regular corner Surender Nada when the latter was away on national duty, the Iranian continued to start with Nada feeling a bit under the weather on his return from the South Asian Games. Coach Bhaskaran believes that while he is a very talented player, his performance keeps increasing in stature with every match. "In the 2nd season, Fazel didn't get much of a chance because Mohit (Chhillar) and Surender were working well together. He also joined the team late which delayed the process of integrating him into the team. This season, we decided to start him when the four players had gone for SAG. It worked wonders but we were wondering how the Mohit-Fazel partnership would work once Mohit came back. It has been brilliant to see both of them learning from each other and adapting their game according to the other's playing style."


It is this successful and unlikely partnership that sees Fazel top the list in the number of successful tackles per match (4.2) and also the team topping the list of the percentage of successful tackles per match (48.35). While the U Mumba defence has held strong, it remains to be seen how their wall holds up against the likes of Surjeet Narwal when they come up against Bengaluru Bulls. With both teams having many players from the surrounding areas of Haryana, the encounter will hold great importance for both sides.

Photo caption: Rishank Devadiga stretches to reach the mid line in U Mumba's previous encounter against Bengaluru Bulls in Star Sports Pro Kabaddi

U Mumba hoping to continue winning streak before start of home leg

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U Mumba continue winning momentum in Jaipur



February 23 2016,  22.16 PM IST || Pocket News Alert



The defending champions secure a splendid win over Bengal Warriors in Star Sports Pro Kabaddi




23rd February, 2016, Jaipur: The brilliance of Fazel Atrachali and a calm performance from captain Anup Kumar saw U Mumba move up to 3rd place on the league table in Season 3 of Star Sports Pro Kabaddi with a 30-17 win over Bengal Warriors in Jaipur.

  U Mumba continue winning momentum in Jaipur

The first half saw one of the quickest all-outs ever secured in Star Sports Pro Kabaddi with the Warriors getting all out by the 8th minute. The defending champions had a lead of 8 points at the time which swelled as Anup and star raider Rishank Devadiga continued to bring back points through quick touches. The latter was responsible for the first all out with Bajirao Hodage from the Bengal team the last man standing. The domination continued until the half time whistle with a superb twist and turn from Rishank saw him escape from the Bengal defence and score 2 points. With the score at halftime being 17-6 to the defending champions, it would have taken something special from Bengal Warriors to come back into the match.



The second half saw Rishank being tackled in the opening minutes itself and a slight shift in momentum towards the Bengal Warriors. Despite U Mumba being reduced to 3 men at one point, Fazel Atrachali shone tonight with his brilliant waist and ankle holds, ensuring that his team would always be at full strength. Soon a second all out was secured this time by the captain himself with the score moving to 24-7. Jan Kun Lee in particular wasn't extremely successful against the new partnership of Fazel and Mohit Chhillar. Defender Vishal Mane also put in a superb tackle to restore Rishank to the mat which then saw the raider continue his good form. The highlight of the match was a fierce body block from Fazel to stop Mahendra Rajput from crossing the mid line. Rishank being shown the yellow card in the 39th minute didn't take the shine off the win which saw the defending champions close out the game 30-17.



The post match conference held glowing praises for Fazel from his captain Anup Kumar. "Fazel is a brilliant player and has taken the opportunities given to him in this season. While we weren't able to play him earlier because we had an equally good defender in his position (Surender Nada), he is now taking advantage of his regular starts."



U Mumba now travel to New Delhi and take on Bengaluru Bulls at the Thyagaraj Indoor Stadium on the 25th of February.

U Mumba's Anup Kumar, Rakesh Kumar and Jeeva Kumar trap Bengal Warriors'Jang Kun Lee


 U Mumba continue winning momentum in Jaipur



 U Mumba continue winning momentum in Jaipur

Rakesh Kumar breaches the Bengal Warriors defence
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U Mumba high on confidence ahead of Bengal Warriors tie



February 22 2016,  15.05 PM IST || Pocket News Alert

The defending champions are looking to continue their winning streak during the Jaipur leg



22nd February, 2016, Jaipur: Defending champions U Mumba are riding a wave of high confidence after beating the previously unbeaten table toppers, Patna Pirates for the first time in Season 3 of Star Sports Pro Kabaddi. Having been beaten by them in the reverse fixture in Bengaluru, the performance put up by the men in orange and black showed complete dominance and aggression, something that the Pirates weren't expecting.



"Facing an unbeaten Patna Pirates was a situation we were familiar with because we were in the same position last season (unbeaten in eight consecutive matches). We used our insights from that experience to build our strategy. We also knew it would be a tough challenge but the boys came out fully prepared to win that night." Coach Bhaskaran recalls the mind-set of the players before the Patna Pirates game. A few comments mentioned by Pirates captain Manpreet Singh might have fired up the U Mumba players ahead of the tie but their feet are still firmly planted on the ground.


One aspect of the win over the Pirates was the exclusion of Surender Nada. While the coach reasons the exclusion to be due to a lingering fever that Nada picked up while away on national duty, his replacement Fazel Atrachali is gaining a fan following and immense respect from his coach as well. "Fazel has been playing the previous three matches brilliantly so when Surender couldn't play due to not being 100% fit, we decided to stick with Fazel. He has started a brilliant partnership with Mohit (Chhillar) and he possesses all the skill sets to be a very successful defender. His judgement sometimes needs to be corrected which is what we are working on right now."




Coach Bhaskaran believes that the Patna win also stemmed from a rise in morale due to the feats of the national team players winning gold at the South Asian Games. "The national boys were happy and confident when they came back after winning the gold medal. This spilled over into training and the rest of the team also started feeling more positive and energised. This was seen in our teamwork and defensive play against Patna which was cohesive and strong."




The reverse fixture against Bengal Warriors saw U Mumba run out 32-21 winners without the services of their four key men. Rishank Devadiga was the star of the match scoring 10 points including 9 raid points and a brilliant solo tackle. Fazel's subduing of Warriors raider Mahesh Goud surprised everyone with the Iranian's power and strength. U Mumba's defence has been brilliant in controlling the raiders of opposition teams which gives their raiders confidence to attack freely, as seen in the previous fixture when Rishank was responsible for the first Bengal Warriors all-out. The defending champions will be looking to continue their winning momentum ahead of their home leg and seal a place in the semis to retain their title.

The last time U Mumba faced Bengal Warriors this season, the defending champions win by 11 points in the Pune leg of Star Sports Pro Kabaddi

U Mumba high on confidence ahead of Bengal Warriors tie

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Rishank Devadiga stars in U Mumba's 6 point victory over the Pirates




Defending champions U Mumba break Pirates unbeaten streak

February 19 2016,  23.43 PM IST || Pocket News Alert


19th February, 2016, Patna:  Patna Pirates were handed a lesson in winning as defending champions U Mumba completely dominated the host team, running out 34-28 winners to halt the Pirate juggernaut.

The intent of the men in orange and black was clear from the beginning when a series of perfect tackles saw U Mumba secure the first all out in the 5th minute itself with the score 9-2. A super raid from Rishank Devadiga stretched the lead further with the second all out coming in the 14th minute. Following the super raid, a superb tackle from Rakesh Kumar saw the score push towards 22-8. The host team trailed 9-24 to the defending champions at half time.

The second half saw the same determination displayed by U Mumba in the first half but a spirited fight back from Patna as well. The host team managed to secure an all-out despite a hopeful substitution sending Bhupender Singh in to try and prevent the all out. With the score 31-24 to U Mumba, Shabeer Bapu came in for Vishal Mane to try and increase the lead. But it was the defence that shone today for the defending champions with Fazel Atrachali and Vishal himself putting in two brilliant individual tackles. Neutralising the famed Patna raiders, U Mumba finally broke their winning streak, beating them 34-28.

After the match captain Anup Kumar, fresh from his gold-winning outing at the South Asian Games said "Patna were unbeaten and confident because of that. We knew we had to play our best to beat them. We decided that their raiders were their strong point which meant our defence had to be solid."


With Pardeep Narwal and Rajesh Mondal not performing as well, the plan seemed to work for U Mumba. "It was truly a team effort today with everyone putting in the hard work to get this win. Jeeva Kumar especially was the rock in the defence and rarely made a mistake. Vishal and Fazel also played brilliantly," he concluded,


The defending champions play Bengal Warriors next at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur on the 23rd of February.

U Mumba's Rishank Devadiga breaches the Patna Pirates defence

U Mumba's Rishank Devadiga breaches the Patna Pirates defence



Jeeva Kumar (R) and Anup Kumar (L) tackle Patna Pirates' Pardeep Narwal


Jeeva Kumar (R) and Anup Kumar (L) tackle Patna Pirates' Pardeep Narwal



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U Mumba bolstered by return of SAG players ahead of Patna encounter



 February 18 2016,  13.06 PM IST || Pocket News Alert

The defending champions meet the table toppers in the second half of Season 3 of Star Sports Pro Kabaddi

U Mumba bolstered by return of SAG players ahead of Patna encounter

18th February 2016, Patna: U Mumba will be looking to continue their winning momentum after notching three consecutive wins in the absence of their four key men in the team. With gritty and tough wins against Bengaluru Bulls and Puneri Paltan, the U Mumba of Season 2 was back on the mat as they demolished Bengal Warriors mto close out the first half of Season 3 of Star Sports Pro Kabaddi. Their next match might see them revert to their tried and tested combination as they come up against Patna Pirates at the Pataliputra Sports Complex on Friday.


Many termed the participation of captain Anup Kumar, Mohit Chhillar, Surender Nada and Vishal Mane in the South Asian Games as something that will derail the title defending campaign of the Mumbai side. Coach Bhaskaran admits that it was a prevalent feeling in the camp as well.

"We were wondering how well we would be able to close out the matches with these players away on national duty during this time. But the way the players here have responded to the pressure and expectations has been brilliant. Our win against Bengaluru Bulls was close but we deserved to win against Puneri Paltan. Those victories gave us confidence to put our best performance forward for the match against Bengal Warriors."



Questions will be raised in terms of the starting seven against the Pirates with Fazel Atrachali shining in the absence of Surender Nada. Rishank Devadiga has taken the reins of attack with 38 points to his name in 7 matches including a best of 9 points in the win against Bengal Warriors. Rakesh Kumar has also led the team in fine fettle, standing in for regular captain Anup Kumar. Jeeva Kumar has brought balance to the team by playing as a right and left cover, a position that is usually occupied by Vishal Mane. Coach Bhaskaran will have his work cut out for him to field his best side against a team that has remained unbeaten in the league so far. "This period has brought out the best in our players, especially Rishank and Jeeva Kumar. Rishank has been very aggressive and his footwork has been good. This will be key when he has to face the Patna defence on Friday. Jeeva held the defence together very well and was under pressure to handle the cover defence which he dealt with admirably."



While the news of the four players returning will boost morale in the U Mumba camp, the defending champions will have to deal with the likes of raiders Pardeep Narwal, Sandeep Narwal and Rohit Kumar if they wish to push for a place in the knockout stages.

U Mumba's Rakesh Kumar jumps over the Patna Pirates defence during their previous encounter of this season in Bengaluru where U Mumba were beaten by Patna 40-26.



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U Mumba finish first half of Season 3 of Star Sports Pro Kabaddi with a win



February 14 2016,  22.57 PM IST || Pocket News Alert


The Mumbai Team defeats Bengal Warriors by 11 points



14 February 2016, Pune: The thoughts of U Mumba's performance suffering  because of the absence of their key men were banished when the defending champions secured a dominating 32-21 win over in form Bengal Warriors on the last day of the Pune leg. It was a power-packed performance where the young team stated their dominance with the help of stand in captain Rakesh Kumar who rose to the occasion.


The match began in spirited fashion with star raider Rishank Devadiga in fine form and grabbing a point to open the scoring. In the 8th minute, Bhupender Singh was adjudged to have gotten a super raid but on review from the Bengal Warriors, he had gotten just two points. With the last raid before half time taken by Rakesh himself, the Mumbai side has a slim 2 point lead going into the break.



The second half displayed the dominance that U Mumba were famous for in their title winning season. The chance of an all out in the first two minutes of the second half was dismissed when Rishank failed to cross the line in time despite touching both the remaining Bengal players. A raid by Mahendra Rajput held off the inevitable which came minutes later when the same raider was tackled by the U Mumba defence. This gave the defending champions a lead of 4 points with the score 20-16. The men in orange and black didn't look back from here on. Rishank's quick touches and hunger to score more bore fruits as he racked up the raid points, 9 in total. With 4 minutes left on the clock, the Bengal Warriors succumbed to a second all out which stretched the lead for U Mumba to 29-18. The champions didn't rest on their laurels eager to banish any hopes of Bengal taking even a point from this match. Pawan and Jeeva Kumar combined in a strong block to remove Nitin Tomar while Fazel Atrachali was once again instrumental with his single blocks especially in the dying minutes. The end result saw U Mumba run out 32-21 winners and climb to 3rd spot on the table.



This meant that the defending champions defied odds and secured three straight wins without their four key components of the title winning season. This was the question for Rishank Devadiga during the post match press conference. "Fazel came in for Surender Nada and he has been playing brilliantly. We had a training camp before the league where we worked out a good combination. When the players come back, the coach will take a decision based on strategy."



Talking about neutralising the famed Bengal defence, Rishank claimed that that was the strategy all along. "We had worked out in training that we needed to stop Nilesh Shinde and Girish Ernak. Once that was done, we could easily secure the all out which eventually happened. We have been working brilliantly as a unit and we are glad that we have such a united team."



The defending champions now travel to Patna to face the home team Patna Pirates on the 19th of February.

U Mumba's Fazel Atrachali blocks Bengal Warriors raid

Rishank Devadiga defies the Bengal Warriors defence

U Mumba finish first half of Season 3 of Star Sports Pro Kabaddi with a win

U Mumba finish first half of Season 3 of Star Sports Pro Kabaddi with a win

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U Mumba edge another gripping match in the Maharashtra Derby



February 14 2016,  08.19 AM IST || Pocket News Alert

Defending Champions U Mumba win by 2 points


13 February 2016, Pune: The defending champions were once again on the back foot in the first half but quickly pulled back to close out 29-27 winners against Puneri Paltan on Saturday in Season 3 of Star Sports Pro Kabaddi.


In the first minute itself, a review taken by Ajay Thakur saw the Mumbai team go up on the board. However Mumbai's quick 3-point lead was wiped out when Surender Singh effected a super raid that brought U Mumba closer to an all-out. The inevitable occurred and the hosts were leading by a single point at half time.

The second half began with a couple of quick points from Rishank Devadiga and a timely tackle by Fazel Atrachali as well. The score soon became level at 24-24 when the Puneri Paltan captain Manjeet Chhillar was the last man standing and couldn't prevent an all out. In an attempt to stop the Paltan Raiders from getting a bonus point, U Mumba stand in captain Rakesh Kumar sacrificed his point to ensure that the opposition wouldn't get any cheap points. It proved to be successful because Rishank was in good form and quickly pushed the lead to 2 points. Shabeer Bapu also chipped in and a bonus point secured through Bhupender Singh saw that U Mumba kept their 2 point lead and win 29-27.

At the post match press conference, Rakesh Kumar was asked about the reason for that late tackle. "It was a strategic decision because we didn't want them to get the bonus points. We wanted to get the chance to tackle them. Rishank was very successful in the end which worked well for us."

Rishank Devadiga was also present and asked about the turning point of the match. "We were confident that we would be able to win this game. The all out that got us on level terms was the turning point of the match."

U Mumba take on Bengal Warriors at the Shree Shiv Chhtrapati Sports Complex tomorrow at 8pm

U Mumba edge another gripping match in the Maharashtra Derby

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U Mumba to put up tough fight to get back on track





February 12 2016,  19.50 PM IST || Pocket News Alert

The defending champions come up against Puneri Paltan and Bengal Warriors in the Pune leg of Star Sports Pro Kabaddi



12th January, 2016, Pune: After a nail-bitting encounter against the Bengaluru Bulls, U Mumba now enter the fourth leg of the Star Sports Pro Kabaddi, with two matches on consecutive nights, starting with the Maharashtra derby and following with a face-off against the Bengal Warriors for the first time in Season 3 of Star Sports Pro Kabaddi. While the Maharashtra derby has the "MumBoys" in a favourable position against the weaker Puneri Paltans, the Bengal Warriors will prove to be tough opponents having lost only one match so far against the unbeaten team of the league, Patna Pirates.



The mood around the U Mumba camp has been filled with confidence and optimism especially after a thrilling comeback win against Bengaluru Bulls, where UMumba grabbed a single point lead in the final 30 seconds of the match. Coach E Bhaskaran believes that the win was needed to boost the morale of the team with key players out on national duty. "We made a few mistakes in the first half of that game which we corrected in the second half. It was an exceptional performance from the players to get the win. Our coordination was an aspect that we worked on during practice which paid off towards the end."



The match also saw the debuts of Hadi Tajik and Abol Fazl, the two Iranians besides the impressive Fazel Atrachali who made his mark in the U Mumba defence. While the core players from the side will not be back until the following leg of the league, the coach believes that the squad has enough depth to tackle the likes of Manjeet Chhillar, Ajay Thakur, Nilesh Shinde and Nitin Tomar in the next two matches. "Our raiders Shabeer and Rishank have been working hard on their game over the past few days. Fazel has also been training very hard on making the right tackles which is important. All our players are equally good but it depends on who has better coordination with the players."



The Maharashtra Derby will see Pune captain Manjeet Chhillar come up against a well known colleague in Rakesh Kumar as the latter will take the reins in the absence of captain Anup Kumar. It promises to be an interesting battle because of Manjeet's dominating presence on the court and Ajay Thakur's fleet footedness against the likes of Jeeva Kumar and Bhupender Singh, the latter making an impact in defence in the last game.


U Mumba to put up tough fight to get back on track

Against Bengal Warriors, the coach believes that breaking the chemistry of such a well balanced side will prove to be key in U Mumba winning this crucial tie. "The defence of a team gains confidence from how well their raiders perform. If we can ensure that their raiders don't take points back, their defence can also crack of which we can take advantage."



U Mumba play Puneri Paltan on the 13th of February while they take on Bengal Warriors on the 14th of February, both at the Balewadi Sports Complex.

 Photo caption: Pawan Kumar from Bengaluru Bulls attempts to leap over the U Mumba defence in their previous encounter of Star Sports Pro Kabaddi
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U Mumba script a fantastic last minute win over Bengaluru Bulls




 February 10 2016,  23.40 PM IST || Pocket News Alert

The defending champions secure a 29-28 win over the Season 2 runners up in a nervy game


10th February, 2016, Kolkata: With four core players participating in the South Asian Games, an inexperienced U Mumba grabbed a last minute win over Bengaluru Bulls in Season 3 of Star Sports Pro Kabaddi on the back of inspired raiding from Rishank Devadiga and dogged determination from stand in captain Rakesh Kumar.




The first half began with the Bengaluru side quickly grabbing an all-out in the 9th minute to take a 6 point lead over U Mumba. The champions were blown away by the defensive strength of the youthful Bulls side and Rishank was the only raider who managed to come away with a successful raid. The match result seemed inevitable before the half time whistle was blown with U Mumba suffering a second all out in the 15th minute with the score reading 9-20. A super raid by Rakesh and Fazel Atrachali didn't prevent them from going into half time trailing 10-21.




A motivational half time talk from coach Bhaskaran brought about a complete change in the side. Pawan Kumar was brought in for Prapanjan who wasn't successful in his first half. Despite empty raids by Bulls captain Surjeet Narwal, the U Mumba defence clicked to tackle both Vinoth and Pawan who tried to jump over the chain but failed. With the score slowly inching towards a tie at 25-28, Surjeet Narwal came in for a raid but was dominated by Jeeva Kumar which then reduced the Bulls to two men and the chance of an all-out. Rakesh then decided to send himself in for a raid which bore fruit as he got a touch on the corner defender thus bringing the score to 27-28. The all out for Bengaluru was inevitable and an empty raid by Rishank closed out the match 29-28 in favour of the men in orange and black.




At the post match press conference, Rakesh Kumar was ecstatic about closing out an important match. "With the four boys away on national duty, it was important for us to win today. Anup (Kumar) also told me that we can win these matches easily because our squad is very talented. Everyone is equal and everyone gets a chance to play which is the best thing about our team."




When asked about the turning point of the match that inspired the comeback, Rakesh pointed out two things. "Jeeva's tackle on Surjeet got us closer to the all-out that we needed while Rishank's raids were brilliant. Of course, when I went to raid, the win wasn't sure but I told myself that I needed one point to get us over the line."




U Mumba travel to Pune and face Puneri Paltan in the first Maharashtra derby of Season 3 on the 13th of February.
Photo caption : Rakesh Kumar tackles Pawan from Bengaluru Bulls during Match 20 of Star Sports Pro Kabaddi

Photo caption - Jeeva Kumar celebrates after tackling Bengaluru Bulls captain Surjeet Narwal during the U Mumba vs Bengaluru Bulls encounter in Kolkata

U Mumba script a fantastic last minute win over Bengaluru Bulls
U Mumba script a fantastic last minute win over Bengaluru Bulls

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U Mumba aim to test bench strength against Bengaluru Bulls in repeat of Season 2 finale




February 9 2016,  12.49 PM IST || Pocket News Alert

The defending champions will be without the services of Captain Anup Kumar in their encounter in Kolkata


9 th February, 2016, Kolkata:  All attention will be on how defending champions U Mumba cope tomorrow with their key players on national duty, as they take on Bengaluru Bulls at the Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Indoor stadium in Season Three of Star Sports Pro Kabaddi.


U Mumba captain Anup Kumar has been appointed the captain of the Indian national team for the South Asian Games and will miss three fixtures, tomorrow against the Bulls and in the Pune leg against Puneri Paltan and Bengal Warriors. Defenders Mohit Chhillar, Surender Nada and Vishal Mane have also been called up for the matches that will take place in Guwahati from the 11th to the 15th of February. While coach E Bhaskaran is realistic about the importance of these players, he feels pride in their national selection. "We are the only team in the league that has 4 players going to play for the national team. It is a big honour for us that these players have been recognised to represent their country at the South Asian Games. While we will definitely miss them (in the upcoming three games), we wish them the best of luck in the tournament."

Sitting at 5th place in the league table, losing 4 key players at a crucial moment in the tournament might not be ideal. One feature of the U Mumba squad has always been its exceptional depth which will be needed if they wish to climb up the table and defend the Star Sports Pro Kabaddi title successfully. The defence, in particular, will need bolstering as the Mohit-Surender partnership has always reaped rewards for the Mumbai team even when their attack is struggling. The men in orange and black have always played as a balanced unit and will need to work on maintaining that balance with players like Bhupender Singh, Fazel Atrachali and Pawan Kumar who could get a start in the absence of the regular players.




The Patna loss shook the camp and the coach points out that while team confidence did take a hit, they didn't dwell on the loss too much. "We lost that day because we played badly. Our raiding in particular needs to improve especially in the first 10 minutes of the game. After that loss, we have worked hard on our mistakes in the practice sessions. We don't want to put extra pressure on ourselves by continuously thinking about that game, it might make distract us from the upcoming games. We are well prepared and we will ensure that those mistakes are not repeated."




One aspect of their opponent, Bengaluru Bulls, that the coach reiterated is their ability to surprise everyone. "If you look at their two wins (against Puneri Paltan and Jaipur Pink Panthers), they were fighting wins and their strength showed through those victories. Their defender Ashish Sangwan is fast and covers a lot of ground while their raiders Surjeet Narwal and Amit Rathi go deep in the opponent's den. We have prepared well for those scenarios and will do our best when we take the mat tomorrow." While the coach does sound optimistic, the defending champions will be tested on their resilience and determination to close out matches without their core players present.

Rishank Devadiga catches hold of Rohit Kumar Choudhary in U Mumba's win over Dabang Delhi
in Bengaluru

U Mumba aim to test bench strength against Bengaluru Bulls in repeat of Season 2 finale

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U Mumba's unbeaten streak against Patna Pirates breaks in Bengaluru


February 7 2016,  11.24 AM IST || Pocket News Alert

The defending champions incurred a shock 26-40 loss to the Patna outfit in Season 3 of Star Sports Pro Kabaddi


6 th January, 2016, Bengaluru:  Defending champions U Mumba were given a rude awakening in Season 3 of Star Sports Pro Kabaddi as they lost 26-40 to Patna Pirates in their final game of the Bengaluru leg.


Former Pirates captain Rakesh Kumar was part of U Mumba's starting seven and expectations were that both teams would fight hard for this victory. The first half saw U Mumba's defence overpowered by Sandeep Narwal and Rajesh Mondal while Pirates captain Manpreet Singh's strong defence kept raiders Rishank Devadiga and captain Anup Kumar at bay. The first all-out was secured by Patna Pirates in the 10th minute, giving them a lead of 6 points with the score 7-13. Despite a successful review by Rakesh that saw him score two points against his former team, U Mumba went into half-time, trailing 11-20 to the Patna Pirates.

The second half continued on the same note with the Patna raiders being too quick for an otherwise strong U Mumba defence. A second all out was secured by the Pirates in the opening 2 minutes of the second half which stretched their lead to a solid 12 points. This saw changes to the U Mumba team, with Bhupender Singh being sent in to try and spur a comeback. Things looked up for a few minutes for the title holders but a moment of confusion and clarification about a call, saw captain Anup Kumar being given a yellow card and sent off for two minutes. After that, there was no looking back for the men in green as they continued to perform better, with the final score ending 26-40.

At the post match press conference, coach Bhaskaran was unemotional in his answers. "Patna played a good game and today we just weren't good enough. We will learn from our mistakes and make sure than in our next match, we do better. We have played four games only in the league and there's a long way to go for the table to be decided."

Captain Anup Kumar also echoed his coach's words. "Patna gave us a good fight and we weren't able to match it as well as we had hoped. We could have done better but we didn't give up till the end and that's the spirit of this team. We need to be more careful in our tactical decisions and work harder in the next game."

U Mumba travel to Kolkata and face Bengaluru Bulls on the 10th of February at the Netaji Subash Chandra Bose Indoor Stadium.

U Mumba's Rakesh Kumar attempts his trademark jump over Patna Pirates defence

Vishal Mane and Jeeva Kumar block Patna Pirates Captain Manpreet Singh

U Mumba's unbeaten streak against Patna Pirates breaks in Bengaluru
U Mumba's unbeaten streak against Patna Pirates breaks in Bengaluru


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U Mumba showcase their dominance against Dabang Delhi




February 6 2016,  11.34 AM IST || Pocket News Alert

The defending champions secured two all outs with an impressive 30-17 win over the Delhi outfit



5th January, 2016, Bengaluru: U Mumba began the Bengaluru leg in triumphant fashion as they brushed aside Dabang Delhi for their second win of Season Three of Star Sports Pro Kabaddi. The undoubted star of the whole game was captain Anup Kumar, who showed his ability to take away the match from the opposition.


The first half began cautiously for the Mumbai team with the first three raids of the match being empty outings. A point secured by Anup Kumar in his trademark casual style began the free fall for Delhi. With a change in the lineup being Rishank Devadiga starting in place of Rakesh Kumar, there were thoughts about the defence being weakened. But Mohit Chhillar and his partner Surender Nada quickly dismissed those notions as they secured the first all out of the match in the 8th minute with the score 10-4 to U Mumba.


With a lead of 9 points at half time and only four men remaining for the team in orange and black, a tactical decision was made to bring in Bhupender Singh. Bhupender soon got a raid point that brought captain Anup Kumar back in. From then onwards, the U Mumba team did not look back. Kashiling Adake, Dabang Delhi's star raider barely fired tonight, with a superb tackle by Mohit and Surender effectively ending his night. A second all out was secured by U Mumba in the 33rd minute with the score reading 28-12. The mood of the match towards the end turned light as it became clear that the Delhi team had no opportunity to fight back. In the end, U Mumba won 30-17.




A happy Mohit Chhillar was asked about the mood of the players post this emphatic win. " We lost the last match and won this one, so we are all feeling very happy. Our defence was extremely strong today and it is because of that, that we were able to win by such a big margin" said the defender.




Coach E Bhaskaran was questioned about the choice of players for this match with Rishank being brought in for Rakesh. "The selection of the starting seven depends on every opponent that we play and for today, I decided that Rishank should start. It benefitted us because he played brilliantly. But Rakesh's addition has definitely made us even stronger as a unit."




Regarding whether the inclusion of Iran international Fazel Atrachali will occur towards the end of the season, much like in the previous season, the coach was firm on his approach. "He has just arrived in the team a few days ago and will need time to adjust to the playing style. He is a brilliant player and will definitely play in the next few games."




U Mumba play Patna Pirates on the 6th of February at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium in Bengaluru.

U Mumba defence lead by Mohit Chhillar left the Dabang Delhi Kabaddi Club strugling

U Mumba showcase their dominance against Dabang Delhi

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Defending Champions U Mumba announce the sale of tickets on bookmyshow.com



 February 3 2016,  12.59 PM IST || Pocket News Alert

U Mumba hosts the final league-stage leg of the third Season of Star Sports Pro-Kabaddi to be held in Mumbai from 28th February to 2nd March


3rd February, 2016, Mumbai: Hosting the last leg of the League stages of Season 3 of Star Sports Pro Kabaddi, U Mumba today announced sale of tickets for their home leg to be held between 28th February to 2nd March 2016, on bookmyshow.com. After touring 7 destinations across India, the team will bank on home support when they return to the Dome @ National Sports Club of India (NSCI), SVP stadium in Mumbai for the final league-stage games.



U Mumba fans can pledge support for their star-studded home team by purchasing tickets ranging from INR 800 to INR 2500. The tickets are divided into three categories- Section 3 at INR 800, Section 2 at INR 1000 and Section 1 priced at INR 2500 - all available on sale on bookmyshow.com.




Students can avail of tickets at a discounted rate of Rs.200, by showing their student ID, exclusively available at the NSCI box office, which opens on 24nd of February. Similarly, members of Kabaddi Clubs across the state can also purchase tickets for a flat fee of Rs.200 at the NSCI Box Office on display of their valid Kabaddi Association card. NSCI members can avail a special discount of 10% at the Box Office by displaying their membership cards.




U Mumba will take on arch rivals Jaipur Pink Panthers for their opening home game at the Dome at NSCI, SVP stadium on 28th February 7:50 p.m. onwards on Saturday.

Defending Champions U Mumba announce the sale of tickets on bookmyshow.com

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Jaipur Pink Panthers put up a tough fight against arch rivals U Mumba



February 1 2016,  10.52 AM IST || Pocket News Alert

Despite a good display from defender Mohit Chhillar, the defending champions fall short


31 st January, 2016, Vizag:  The defending champions U Mumba lost to Jaipur Pink Panthers in their second match of the Star Sports Pro Kabaddi League. Hovering on the brink of an all-out, star raider for the Panthers Jasvir Singh pulled it back and also secured the all out that ended hopes for U Mumba to make a comeback. U Mumba lost to the Jaipur Pink Panthers 27-18.

The first half began in a controlled manner with both teams holding back their attacking prowess, keeping the game on edge. The first half was characterised by two team reviews, both from U Mumba's side. The first review saw Shabeer's raid become valid while the second team review saw vice-captain Rakesh Kumar ultimately go back to the bench for a successful tackle by the Panthers. The tone of the match saw the Jaipur outfit lead by a single point at half time.


In the second half, the intensity between these two arch rivals stepped up with U Mumba's defence in Mohit Chhillar and Surender Nada effecting a superb tackle to capture Sonu Narwal and reduce the Jaipur team to 3 players. With the threat of an all-out, U Mumba took the lead for the first time in the match with the score at 13-12. In an effort to extend the lead, Rishank Devadiga was sent in to try and accomplish that. Unfortunately, two super tackles later and the threat of an all-out was on U Mumba. The last 5 minutes saw Jasvir effect an all out to win the match 27-18 over the defending champions.

U Mumba captain Anup Kumar was in a sombre mood in the post-match press conference. "We lost points because our defence was weak. Our raiders weren't effective in carrying out super raids. We will need to work harder in these areas and come back stronger for the next game."

U Mumba travel to Bengaluru and take on Dabang Delhi on February 5th, 2016 at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium.

Vishal Mane, Shabeer Bapu and Mohit Chhillar execute the perfect tackle against

Jaipur Pink Panthers' Jasvir Singh

Despite a good effort by Rakesh Kumar, U Mumba lost to Jaipur Pink Panthers in the final minutes of the match

Jaipur Pink Panthers put up a tough fight against arch rivals U Mumba

Jaipur Pink Panthers put up a tough fight against arch rivals U Mumba

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