Haryana Hammers ease past Delhi Sultans

Pro Wrestling League

New Delhi: Haryana Hammers continued their unbeaten run in the Pro Wrestling League (PWL) season 2 as they registered a 5-2 victory over Colors Delhi Sultans at the K D Jadhav Indoor Stadium here on Wednesday.

Haryana had the initial advantage as they won the toss and blocked the 74 kg Men's category while Delhi decided to block the 53 kg Women's category, thereby negating the threat of Haryana's Sofia Mattsson.

Captain Abdusalam Gadisov of Haryana gave his team a winning start, defeating Delhi's Satyavart Kadian 9-0 in the 97 kg Men's heavyweight category. Delhi drew level in the following bout, as three-time Olympic medalist Mariya Stadnik walloped Haryana's Indu Chaudhary 16-0 to win by virtue of Technical Superiority in the 48 kg Women's category. The third bout was fought between Delhi's David Tlashadze and Haryana's Magomed Kurbanaliev in the 70 kg Men category.

Haryana's foreign import Kurbanaliev emerged the winner in the contest, attacking aggressively and effecting two decisive takedowns to finish 6-2 and give Haryana a 2-1 lead in the tie. Delhi Captain Alina Makhynia overcame a stalemate-like situation against Haryana's Kiran to win 2-1 in the 75 kg Women's category to make it 2-2. A pivotal moment in the match came in the fifth bout as the contest between two Indian wrestlers, Delhi's Bajrang Punia and Haryana's Rajneesh got underway.

Bajrang Punia, the most expensive Indian wrestler in PWL 2, was playing after recovering from injury, while Rajneesh was high on confidence, being unbeaten in the tournament so far. Rajneesh managed to score early with the help of an aggressive takedown following it up with a double leg hold to raise questions for Bajrang. Not to be outdone, Bajrang managed to take advantage of an extravagant maneuver by Rajneesh, as he opened his account going in to the second round.

Bajrang resumed Round 2 with renewed aggression, attacking with single leg holds even as Rajneesh displayed nimble footwork to push out Bajrang from the protected area and score points. Both wrestlers exhibited tremendous attacking and defensive approaches; however, it was Rajneesh who managed to increase the points deficit beyond Bajrang's reach, as Haryana won the bout 9-6 and established a 3-2 lead in the tie.

Haryana Hammers clinched the tie in the next bout as Tunisian wrestler and 2016 Olympics Bronze medalist Marwa Amri Won By Fall 10-0 against her opponent, Colors Delhi Sultans' Apoorva Tyagi who had replaced key player Sakshi Malik in the 58 kg Women's category A series of successive takedowns saw Amri score rapidly, as Apoorva managed to escape being pinned. Eventually, Amri defeated Apoorva with a decisive single leg tackle, pinning her to the mat and being adjudged the winner in the process. With this victory, Haryana gained an unassailable 4-2 lead in the tie.

Sakshi Malik was prevented from taking part in the tie on medical grounds as she was recovering from an illness.

The final bout of the evening also swung in Haryana's favour, with Indian Olympian Sandeep Tomar pulling off an upset win over Delhi's Erdenebat Bekhbayar in the 57 kg Men's category.