PWL: Mumbai clinches semifinal spot

Mumbai Maharathi booked its spot in the semifinals of the Pro Wrestling League with a spirited 4-3 victory over Delhi Sultans on Friday.

Delhi Sultans' Sakshi Malik was a bright spot for Delhi Sultans in its contest against Mumbai Maharathis.   -  PTI

A bleeding captain Erica Wiebe kept her unbeaten record in the competition intact and ensured Mumbai Maharathi stayed the course to book a semifinal spot in the Pro Wrestling League with a 4-3 win against Delhi Sultans here on Friday.

Having finished its league engagements, Mumbai would now have to wait for the other ties to know its opponent in the knockouts. Delhi, meanwhile, lost its fourth tie on the trot and, along with Uttar Pradesh (UP), is now out of competition, making their last tie - against each other - of academic interest.

With her team trailing in the tie, Erica managed just one take down of Alina Makhynia in the 75kg but that was enough for a 3-0 victory that put her team level. Ukrainian Pavlo Oliynik, then, came back from a three-point deficit to comprehensively win 8-3 against Satyavrat Kadian in the 97kg in the final bout of the day.

Erica twice took a medical break, battling with a cotton swab in her nose all through but neither that nor the reopened cut above her eye could stop the Canadian reigning Olympic champion from winning her fifth bout in as many games.

Good start

Delhi, though, had its best start in the competition so far after David Tlashadze pinned Pritam in the 70kg to win in five minute 40 seconds while leading 6-2. Multiple Olympic medallist Mariya Stadnik bettered him, ending the contest against Carolina Castillo in just two minutes 42 seconds to double the lead, and a struggling Sakshi managed to edge past a defensive Sarita 1-3 with not a single take down in the entire bout to put Delhi ahead 3-1.

The team, however, suffered the absence of Bajrang Punia, the highest-paid wrestler in the competition - who fought just one bout and lost - as his replacement Surjeet was pinned by an aggressive Vikas in just over five minutes while leading 15-8. Vikas almost got pinned himself before using all his strength to push away Surjeet, turn him around and pin him instead to the mat. Mumbai's Jabrayil Hasanov beat Parveen Rana 7-0 in the 74kg to remain unbeaten.

With the tie hinging on the final bout, Kadian went ahead 0-3 at the beginning of the second round. But Oliynik, a former European champion, changed his strategy.

Instead of going for the big points, he kept pushing Kadian out of the competition area and was rewarded with three quick points to equalise before getting behind him successfully to take a 6-3 lead. Another take down in the last 10 seconds sealed the matter in Mumbai's favour.

The result: Delhi beat Mumbai 4-3

Women:

48kg: Carolina Castillo (Mum) lost to Mariya Stadnik (Del) by Fall; 58kg: Sarita (Mum) lost to Sakshi Malik (Del) 1-3; 75kg: Erica Wiebe (Mum) bt Alina Makhynia (Del) 3-0;

Men:

65kg: Vikas (Mum) bt Surjeet Grewal (Del) By Fall; 70kg: Pritam (Mum) lost to David Tlashadze (Del) By Fall; 74kg: Jabrayil Hasanov (Mum) bt Parveen Rana (Del) 7-0; 97kg: Pavlo Oliynik (Mum) bt Satyavrat Kadian (Del) 8-3.