U Mumba have been relentless in their quest for a maiden Pro Kabaddi League title this season. At times, they have been ruthless, comfortably brushing off opponents without breaking a sweat. The Ronnie Screwvala-owned franchise had won 12 of their 14 league games before facing Patna Pirates in the semis.
U Mumba ease past Patna Pirates; Bengaluru Bulls prevail over Telugu Titans
On Friday evening in Mumbai, the home team showed its ruthless side once again as it crushed Patna Pirates in a resounding fashion to progress to the title match of the tournament. Ace tackler Surender Nada picked up an unprecedented 10 tackle points to lead his team to a comfortable win. The scorecard eventually read 35-18 in U Mumba's favour, as the team ensured a top 2 finish for the second consecutive season.
The day's first semi-final had been much more dramatic. With 10 minutes left on the clock, Bengaluru Bulls had a comprehensive 16-point lead over Telugu Titans. Trailing 15-31, the Titans, however, came back strongly late into the game, and almost managed to upstage Bengaluru towards the end. It eventually ended 39-38 in the Bulls' favour, meaning they will now face high-flying U Mumba at the latter's home turf in Sunday's final.
Bengaluru Bulls and U Mumba have faced off on five occasions in the tournament's two editions so far. U Mumba have come out on top of the Bulls on four of these games, including twice in the league stage this year. In last year's semi-final stage, U Mumba had prevailed by a scoreline of 27-23. This season, the games between the two sides have been less close. U Mumba won 36-23 in the first game in Mumbai, and edged out the Bulls 36-29 in the other game in Bengaluru on 12 August.
Given U Mumba's current run of form, they look like the overwhelming favourites to lift the Pro Kabaddi League title on Sunday. Surender Nada, Anup Kumar and Jeeva Kumar are in imperious form for the Mumbai-based franchise, and Bengaluru Bulls will have a tough task stopping the trio in the final. For Bengaluru, Manjeet Chillar, Ajay Thakur and Dharmaraj Cheralathan will be the key players, and will have to be at their peak in order to prevail over U Mumba.
Meanwhile, Patna Pirates and Telugu Titans will face each other in the third-place playoff match on Sunday.