Hyderabad: Defending champions U Mumba managed to pull off an exciting 27-25 win over hosts Telugu Titans to kick off their campaign in the Pro Kabaddi League on a rousing note at the Rajiv Gandhi Indoor Stadium on Saturday.
The Mumbai franchise were leading 18-8 in the first half, but lost the grip in the second half of the game, which they should have won comfortably. But, some superb raids by Sukesh Hegde and Rahul Chaudhary dented the dominating game of the visitors.
After taking a lead of 18-8 in the first half, Mumba allowed the hosts to claw back to 25-27 from 9-22, after conceding all-out points.
Though the Titans garnered nine points in last four minutes of the match, taking the score from 16-26 to 25-27, Mumba emerged the winners, keeping their cool in the dying moments.
For Mumba, Anup Kumar (6) and Rishank Devadiga (8) were the top players in the raids while Sukesh Hegde (9) and Rahul Chaudhary (6) were the standout performers for the hosts.
Devadiga enthralled the spectators with a super raid gaining three points, making the hosts lose three points through an all-out just before the first half.
Titans also executed an all-out against Mumba by their well-thought out defence, gaining two points to take the score from 19-27 to 22-27.
The match was watched by Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandra Babu Naidu and film stars Rana Daggubatti and Aamir Khan.
In the other match of the day, last season's runners-up Bengaluru Bulls romped home quite comfortably, beating Delhi Dabang 35-29.
It was a one-sided match in both the halves. The winners led 25-8 in the first half.
It was the aggressive play of Surjeet Narwal who brought cheers on the faces of Bengaluru fans.
At the Bengaluru defence, Shrikanth Tewathia manned the corners admirably. This put pressure on the rival raiders and kept them at bay. Though Kashiling Adake and Surjith Singh scored nine and ten points respectively, their efforts were not enough to see their team home.
As the game began to slip away from Delhi's grasp, Adake stood out with some brilliant raids in the midst of defeat.