Jaipur Pink Panthers proved too strong for U Mumba as they produced a clinical performance in the all-important final to emerge triumphant in the inaugural Star Sports Pro-Kabaddi League at the NSCI Stadium here tonight.
The Abishek Bachchan-owned Panthers scored a 35-24 victory in an action-packed summit clash in front of a full house with a number of celebrities in attendance.
Maninder Singh started off well for the Panthers and secured 7 points followed by Rajesh Narwal (5).
For U Mumba, the points tally in raiding was expectedly led by captain Anup Kumar (11) but what swung the game the Panthers way was superior defending through which they secured 13 points as compared to their rivals' 4.
Things went neck to neck in the initial stage, the highlight being U Mumba captain Anup Kumar taking three rivals out to help his side take a 4-2 lead before the Panthers caught up and then jumped ahead to a two-point lead (8-6).
From then on the Panthers were ahead of their rivals and then got a lona by packing off the entire rival squad to lead 13-7. They kept up this slight advantage till half time though Mumba reduced the gap to four points at the end of the 20th minute of the game (18-14).
Raider Jasvir Singh got four points for the Panthers from a single raid with 10 minutes left when he got a touch on the last two Mumba players standing to pack the rivals off for a second lona and two additional points.
Stout defending, especially from Prashant Chavan, also saw the Jaipur franchise pack off the star rival raider Anup Kumar on a few occasions to further push U Mumba, who were handicapped by the knee injury sustained by key raider Shabbir Bapu Sharfuddin that handicapped his staying on court, behind.
Earlier, in the match to decide the 3-4 places between yesterday's losing semi finalists, Patna Pirates easily overcame Bengaluru Bulls 29-22 after leading 17-9 in a defence-dominated game.
The Pirates, though handicapped by the absence of their star player and captain Rakesh Kumar, defended stoutly to keep their rivals at bay, especially in the first half, to win the third place in the eight-team tournament that concluded today.
Ravi Dalal (4) and Sandip Narwal (3) were the leading raiders for the winners while for the losers Parmod Singh (4) and Ajay Thakur (2) emerged as the top raiders.
Anand Mahindra, chairman and MD of Mahindra and Mahindra,