Sakshi leads Mumbai Maharathi to victory in opening tie of PWL
New Delhi, Jan. 9: The Pro Wrestling League got off to a sensational start, with Mumbai Maharathi shocking Delhi Sultans 5-2 on the opening night here at the Siri Fort on Tuesday. Rio Olympic Games bronze medallist for India, Sakshi Malik, played her role as captain of the Maharathis with elan, winning the crucial fourth point to put the contest beyond the Sultans’ reach. She trounced her compatriot Monia 18-2 in what proved to be walk in the park. The two teams were locked 2-2 after four contests but Satender Malik edged out Hitender 7-6 to put the Maharathis ahead. Sakshi then walked into the stadium like a rock star, to a standing ovation by a packed house, and showed what she is all about. She jumped into a 10-2 lead in the first period of the 62-kg bout and wrapped it up 18-2 to the delight of her fans.
Delhi Sultans wereon the back-foot right at the start, with their captain and star player SushilKumar being removed from the equation. She lost the toss and Sakshi Malikpromptly blocked him. In return, Sushil opted to block Odunaya of Nigeria, aformidable force in the 57-kg category. That, however, didn’t deter Sushil’steammate. Sandeep Tomar began on a winning note, picking up the first point ofthe tie. The 2017 Asian Indoor Games bronze medallist got the better of afighting Andrey Yatsenko 14-9 in the 57-kg men’s freestyle clash.
Tomar looked solidin the first period, racking up a 10-0 lead. But Yatsenko snatched 8 pointswith a brilliant move to raise a scare. But Tomar held on to win the match. TheMumbai team asserted itself in the second match, with Seema beating MaroiMezien of Tunisia in the 50-kg women’s competition. It was a defensivefight, with both not making any aggressive moves. Only one point was taken inthe first period, by Seema; Seema won four more points in the next for astrategic 5-1 win. The Sultans regained the lead, with Azerbaijan’s AslanAlbvorov notching up a comprehensive 15-0 win over Satyawart Kadian in the92-kg class. The 2017 World Championships bronze medalist was a class above theIndian who struggled all the way through.
France’s CynthiaVescan promptly won the next one for Mumbai, beating Egypt’s Samaramer Hamza inthe 76-kg men’s fight. She took it easily, conceding just one point to her 12.
Mumbai Maharathi btDelhi Sultans 5-2
Andrey Yatsenko lostto Sandeep Tomar 9-14
Seema beat MaroiMezien 5-1
Satyawart Kadianlost to Alborov Aslan 0-15
Cynthia Vescanbt Samaramer Hamza 12-1
Satender Malik beatHitender 7-6
Sakshi Malik beatMonia 18-2
Soslav Ramonov btHaji Aliev 3-2