PWL: Unbeaten Haryana goes top of the table

Haryana Hammers racked up its fourth win in as many matches to top the points table, defeating Jaipur Ninjas 5-2 at the KD Jadhav Stadium on Saturday.

Haryana Hammers' Sofia Mattson (left) defeated Kiran 3-0.   -  V. V. Krishnan (File Photo)

Last year's runner-up Haryana Hammers racked up its fourth win in as many matches to top the points table, defeating Jaipur Ninjas 5-2 at the KD Jadhav Stadium here on Saturday.

With both teams having already qualified for the semifinals, the tie was more about improving their position of the table and Haryana proved its superiority, riding on its Olympic medallists and world champions to stay unbeaten in the competition. Jaipur, meanwhile, finished its league engagements with three wins in five ties to be placed fourth on the table and on course to a repeat of this tie in the knockouts.

Swede Jenny Fransson won easily 3-0 against Kiran in the 75kg and Jakob Makarashvili got past Sumit Sehrawat by an identical margin to bring back Jaipur on level twice into the competition, but the rest were unable to build up on those wins.

Odikaze opts out

Russian reigning world champion Magomed Kurbanaliev thrashed Vinod Kumar Omprakash 12-0 in the 70kg to open the lead for Haryana after a comfortable lead of 7-0 in the first round, and former world champion Abdusalam Gadisov overcame Rubaljeet Singh 18-2 by technical superiority. Rubaljeet, participating for the first time, replaced Elizabar Odikadze and Jaipur suffered the absence of its captain.

Odikadze, who had won all four of his bouts so far, pulled out, perhaps wanting to save his energies for the semifinals.

However, the presence of Olympic medallists Sofia Mattsson and Tunisian Mawra Amri tilted the scales in Haryana's favour. Olympian Sandeep Tomar had to struggle before downing Utkarsh Kale 5-3 in the 57kg for Haryana's other win. Sofia led 9-2 against Betzabeth Arguello in the first round before sealing the win 11-2 in the 53kg. Marwa, meanwhile, ended the day's final bout against Pooja Dhanda in the 58kg in just over two minutes, winning by Fall while leading 8-0 to end the tie 5-2 in Haryana's favour.