Second loss for Mumbai Maharathis
Things seem to be going down for the Mumbai Maharathis. After the impressive Haryana Hammers inflicted a loss to the defending champions in the opening bout, its now the turn of the NCR Punjab Royals to do so. Read on to know more!
It was a jam-packed K D Jadhav Indoor Stadium at New Delhi that bore witness to this much anticipated showdown. Cricketer Harbhajan Singh, proud owner of the Mumbai Maharathis team turned up to show support amidst a plethora of fans. At the end of the day, it was the NCR Punjab Royals who had the last laugh.
Mumbai squander the early advantage
However, it was Mumbai with the early advantage. They won the toss and decided to block the 53 kg women’s category. This prevented the veteran wrestler Odunayo Folasade Adekuoroye from entering the tie. Following that, Punjab blocked the 74 kg men’s category forcing Mumbai’s Jabrayil Hasanov to sit out.
Punjab captain Vladimir Khinchegashvili started off well by winning the first bout. He used his wealth of experience to overcome a stiff resistance from Mumbai Maharathi’s Rahul Aware. Rahul, fresh over his victory over Sandeep Tomar in the opening game, tried valiantly but the 2016 Rio gold medalist prevailed. He won the bout 7-3.
Great performance by the captains
Next, it was the turn of the Mumbai captain. Quite similar to counterpart Vladimir, 2016 Olympic gold medalist Erica Wiebe gave a brilliant performance. Her tough victory against Vasilisa Marzaliuk helped Mumbai draw level. This was a high intensity bout which literally saw blood and sweat on the mat. Erica triumphed 4-2 at the end.
The next match saw Punjab’s Pankaj Rana defeating Mumbai’s Pritam 9-8 in the men’s 70 kg category. Following this high octane encounter, it was the turn of 2010 Commonwealth Games silver medalist, Nirmala Devi. She defeated Carolina Castillo Hindalgo convincingly in the 48 kg category.
The final bouts and player of the day
Next, Ukranian wrestler Togrul Asgarov would seal the deal by triumphing over Mumbai’s Vikas Kumar. This ensured Punjab’s victory through a 4-1 unassailable lead. Even though Mumbai restored some pride through the victories by Sarita and Pavlo Oliynik, the game was well and truly over.
For her amazing performance on the mat against Carolina Castillo, Nirmala Devi was adjudged player of the day. Speaking after the triumph, the Mumbai captain beamed “I am very happy for the team’s victory”.