World championships silver medallist Bajrang Punia prevailed over European Championships gold medallist Haji Aliyev 8-6 in a dramatic bout in the 65kg category to give Punjab Royals their second consecutive win in the Pro Wrestling League (PWL) in Ludhiana Wednesday.
This was Bajrang’s second win in a decider this season which helped defending champions Royals beat MP Yodha 4-3.
Earlier, world championships bronze medallist Pooja Dhanda won the crucial sixth bout of the evening 9-3 against Mimi Hristova in the female 57kg category to keep MP Yodha alive in the tie.
The former European championships bronze medallist Dato Magarishvili gave Punjab Royals an early lead overcoming the 2017 Commonwealth Championships gold medallist Deepak of MP Yodha 10-0 in a one-sided encounter in the 86kg category.
In a major upset, the Khelo India Youth Games gold medallist Punjab Royals’ Anju defeated the 2017 Commonwealth Championships gold medal winner Ritu Phogat 6-4 in an exciting encounter to put the defending champions 2-0 ahead in the tie.
It was 3-0 in favour of Punjab Royals after the 2018 Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Korey Jarvis of Canada clinched the 125kg super heavyweight bout against the upcoming Indian wrestler Akash Antil of MP Yodha 6-0.
MP Yodha’s European Championships silver medallist Elise Monolova held on to a late onslaught by Punjab Royals’ Anita to win the women’s 62kg bout 3-2 and bring the PWL debutant MP Yodha back into the tie.
Sandeep Tomar showed glimpses of his past as he overcame an intense challenge from Punjab Royals’ Nitin Rathi 3-2 in the men’s 57kg category and keep MP Yodha alive in the tie making it 2-3 after the fifth bout.