New Delhi: PWL Season-1 Champions, Mumbai Maharathi beat UP Dangal 5-2 on Day 6 of the Patanjali Powervita Pro Wrestling League Season 2 at the K D Jadhav Indoor Stadium here today.
Starting the day, UP Dangal won the toss and blocked the 97 kg Men’s category, fending off the threat of Pavlo Olinyk, whereas Mumbai decided to block the 53 kg Women’s category, ensuring Babita Kumari sitting out for the day.
Opening for the teams, UP’s Amit Dhankar and Mumbai’s Pritam fought a dramatic bout in the 70 kg Men’s category. Amit Dhankar of UP dominated the better part of the bout, however Pritam staged a miraculous comeback to score three points in the last few seconds to register a victory for Mumbai in the first bout 3-3 by virtue of Last Point Win.
In the second bout, 2016 Olympic medalists Maria Mamashuk from UP and Mumbai Captain Erica Wiebe fought the second bout of the evening in the 75 kg Women’s category. The Canadian used all her experience and agility to overpower Belarusian 4-0 as Mumbai took a 2-0 lead in the tie.
In the third bout of the day, Mumbai furthered their dominance in the game, with Colombian Carolina Castillo Hidalgo beating UP Captain and 2016 Olympics Bronze medalist Elitsa Yankova 4-1 in the 48 kg Women’s category. The Bulgarian had a tough time on the mat as Carolina kept attacking her, eventually managing a clear takedown to score decisive points. This win meant Mumbai had a 3-0 lead in the tie.
In the fourth bout of the day, UP Dangal made a fighting comeback as Andrey Kviatkovski’s kept the game alive for UP with last point win over Mumbai Maharathi’s Vikas Kumar in the 65 kg Men. Andrey displayed pure aggression in the bout, scoring a clear four points by taking down Vikas in the standing position. Although Vikas tried every trick in his book, Andrey denied him the lead, exhibiting great defence and being quick on his feet. Eventually, the bout went in UP’s favour even as the scores were tied 4-4.
With the tie reading 3-1 now, Mumbai came out with a tie winning bout, as Sarita overwhelmed UP grappler Manisha 9-1 in a one-sided fifth bout. Manisha, who replaced Geeta Phogat in the tie, went down to Sarita in a crucial bout that witnessed the latter execute powerful tackles, taking down Manisha to score points rapidly. Mumbai clinched the bout and the tie as they gained an unassailable 4-1 lead.
Earlier, UP Dangal suffered a setback as Geeta Phogat was ruled out from participating in the 58 kg Women’s category for high fever. She had been advised by her doctor not to take part in the match.
In the sixth bout of the match, 2016 Olympics Bronze Medalist Jabrayil Hasanov from Mumbai exhibited his class and prevailed over UP’s Tariel Gaphrindashvili 3-1 in the 74 kg Men’s bout, extending Mumbai’s lead by 5-1. The Georgian, who was playing in his first bout of the season, struggled against the attacking manoeuvres of the Azeri, as UP was left with one final bout to salvage their pride.
The seventh and final bout was an action-packed performance by Indian wrestlers Amit Kumar Dahiya of UP and Rahul Aware of Mumbai. Even though UP gave away a point due to passivity, Amit ensured that their side did not go down yet again, scoring a couple of points towards the final moments of the bout to win 3-2. Defending Champions, Mumbai Maharathi, however, emerged victorious as they won the tie 5-2.
Post Match Statement
Speaking about team’s victory Erica Wiebe, Mumbai Maharathis captain said, “It has been a fantastic night for the team. We worked really hard and I am proud of each and every team member. Carolina came out strong and she has certainly set the tone for the entire team. Sarita on the other hand showed the fire and energy she has within. Big win tonight!”