PWL: Punjab Royals pips U.P Dangal in a thriller

Punjab Royals came from behind to beat U.P Dangal 4-3 after Anita pulled off a narrow victory over Asian champion Navjot Kaur.

Bajrang Punia of Punjab Royals in action during the Pro Wrestling League.   -  Special Arrangement

Anita's narrow upset win over current Asian champion Navjot Kaur in the women's 62kg bout ensured Punjab Royals' superb come-from-behind 4-3 win over U.P Dangal in the last league encounter of the Pro Wrestling League at the Gautam Buddha University indoor hall on Monday.

After Royals recovered nicely to stay upfront by a 3-2 margin, Anita stunned Navjot 1-1, on the basis of scoring the final point, in a tussle between two seasoned wrestlers. It ensured Royals' victory with a bout to spare and earned it a place in the semifinals.

Jitender's win also took Dangal to the semis.

Haryana Hammers and Delhi Sultans also reached the last four.

Following Georgi Sakandelidze's 4-2 win over Korey Jarvis in the opening 125kg bout, former World champion Vanesa Kaladzinskaya gave U.P Dangal a 2-0 lead.

Read: Delhi Sultans beats Mumbai Maharathi 5-2

Vanesa showed her skill, strength and opportunism to erase Anju's four-point lead and increase her tally to secure a good win in the women's 53kg contest.

Worlds silver medallist Bajrang Punia gave Royals' first win by outlasting Pankaj Rana 7-0 in a 65kg bout.

Bajrang, who led 3-0 after the opening round, managed to break Pankaj's defence to effect two takedowns in the second period and kept his team in the contest.

Bulgarian Olympian Mimi Hristova pipped Asian championships silver medallist Sarita Mor 4-2 in a closely-fought women's 57kg duel.

In an 86kg battle between two Georgians, Olympics bronze medallist Dato Magarishvili defeated Worlds under-23 silver winner Irakli Misituri 5-0 to hand Royals the lead.

The result:

Punjab Royals bt UP Dangal 4-3 (M125kg: Korey Jarvis lost to Georgi Sakandelidze 2-4; W53kg: Anju lost to Vanesa Kaladzinskaya 6-12; M65kg: Bajrang Punia bt Pankaj Rana 7-0; W57kg: Mimi Hristova bt Sarita Mor 4-2; M86kg: Dato Magarishvili bt Irakli Misituri 5-0; W62kg: Anita bt Navjot Kaur 1-1; M74kg: Amit Dhanker lost to Jitender 9-10).