Punjab Royals took the joint top spot with a 5-2 victory over Delhi Sultans in a Pro Wrestling League (PWL) contest at the K.D. Jadhav Stadium here on Sunday evening.
Punjab are now on four points from three outings. They have the same number of points as fellow table toppers Jaipur Ninjas and Haryana Hammers who have played one match less. Delhi, on the other hand, are yet to open their account. They have lost both their ties so far and languish at the bottom of the table along with UP Dangal.
Rio Olympics bronze medallist Sakshi Malik (women’s 58kg) and her fiance Satyavart Kadian (men’s 97kg) were the only Delhi wrestlers who managed to win their respective bouts on Sunday.
Punjab’s Jitendra (men’s 74kg) was adjudged the player of the tie for his gritty comeback win over Delhi promising grappler Parveen Rana.
Punjab captain Vladimir Khinchegashvili won the toss and decided to block the women’s 48kg category. Delhi skipper Sakshi, on the other hand, decided to block the men’s 70kg division.
Vladimir got the proceedings off on a positive note for Punjab by outclassing Delhi’s Pankaj Kumar 8-1 in the men’s 57kg category. Pankaj displayed good upper body strength to keep Vladimir at bay early in the first period.
But the reigning Olympic champion from Georgia used his superior technique to take the lead with a four-point tackle. Another takedown in the last seconds of the opening round saw the Punjab skipper go into the break with a 6-0 lead.
The Georgian star earned another couple of points early in the second and proceeded to use his superior technique and superb reflexes to keep Pankaj’s repeated attacks at bay.
Although Pankaj managed to score a point in the last minute of the bout with a pushout, it was never going to be enough.