Georgian Geno Petriashvili and Pooja Dhanda came up with commanding performances to enable Punjab Royals thrash Mumbai Maharathis 5-2 and record their fourth win in the Pro Wrestling League at the Siri Fort Indoor Stadium,New Delhi on Monday.
Petriashvili scored a dominating 7-0 victory over Satender Malik in the super heavyweight category and Commonwealth champion Pooja Dhanda upset World championship silver medalist Nigerian Odunayo Adekuoroye to knock the Mumbai Maharathis out of contention
Leading 3-1 at the half-way stage, Petriashvili was at his imperious best and delivered the knockout blow to the Mumbai outfit. Geno’s success not only gave Punjab their fourth win in the tournament but also dashed Maharathi’s hopes of qualifying for the knock-out stages with Veer Marathas becoming the fourth team to advance to the last four.
With Punjab sealing the victory with two bout remaining, later in the next two inconsequential contests, Lativian Anastasija Grigorjeva pinned Mumbai’s icon Sakshi Malik 10-2, while Soslan Ramonov of Maharathi beat his compatriot Ilyas Bekbulatov by a narrow 7-6 margin. Commonwealth champion Pooja Dhanda earlier upset World championship silver medalist Odunayo Adekuoroye to put Punjab 3-1 ahead.
It was the Maharathi grappler who seized the initial opportunity and held on to her lead for the entire opening period. However, presented with a small opening in the second period, the Indian pounced on her opponent to score a 4-2 victory via fall. In the third bout of the day, Erdenebatyn Bekhbayar of Mongolia thrashed Utkarsh Kale 10-0 to pull one back for Mumbai.
Trailing 0-2, the World championships bronze medalist lived up to his reputation and dominated the Indian to keep his team’s hopes alive of making it to the semifinals of the tournament, Mumbai Maharathi’s won the toss and chose to keep Nirmala Devi out of action while the Royals opted to block Parveen Dahiya in return. In the opening tie, Deepak Punia overcame a spirited Satyawart Kadian 6-5 in the 92 kg clash to give Punjab Royals a flying start.
It was Kadian who was on the front-foot and took a 4-0 lead. He kept his nose ahead for majority of the second period and just when a win was looking imminent for him, Deepak turned the tide and came out victorious in the dying moments of the bout.