Bengaluru, Dec 24: Mumbai Garudas gave themselves a major boost ahead of the semi-fils as they maintained their all-win record with a 4-3 victory over Harya Hammers in a Pro wrestling League (PWL) contest at the Koramangala Indoor Stadium here on Thursday.
It was the last encounter of the league stage which perhaps fittingly, witnessed a battle between the two strongest teams in the tourment.
With this win, Mumbai held onto their top spot on the PWL table with 10 points, having won all five of their league matches.
The Garudas will now clash with Bengaluru Yodhas in the semi-fils. The Yodhas finished the league stage at the fourth place.
Harya meanwhile, suffered their second defeat. They had lost only one of their four earlier league matches, going down to Punjab Royals last Tuesday. They remained at the third position on the table with six points.
They will take on second placed Punjab Royals in the semi-fils on Saturday. Punjab also took six points from the league stage, but are ahead of Harya on points difference.
Both semi-fils will be held at the Indira Gandhi Indoor Stadium in New Delhi.
Former Asian champion Rahul Aware gave Mumbai a winning start by defeating Nitin Kumar of Harya 7-2 in the men's 57kg division. Both wrestlers were somewhat defensive in the opening round with Aware taking a 1-0 lead.
The second round saw an explosive start as Nitin brought down his opponent to take two points but Aware replied almost instantly with a single leg hold. But as the bout wore on, Aware's superior technique gradually began to exert its domince and ultimately proved too much for the comparatively inexperienced Nitin.
Five-time World Champion Oksa Herhel lived upto her reputation when she brought Harya back on level terms by beating Sakshi Malik of Mumbai 4-2 in the women's 58kg section. The Ukrainian star thus maintained her all-win record in the tourment.
Oksa asserted her domince early on, cruising to a comfortable 4-0 lead at the break. To her credit, Sakshi fought back to reduce the deficit in the second round, but it did not prove to be enough to prevent her first defeat in the PWL.
The Hammers surged into the lead when Cuba's 2012 London Olympics bronze medallist Livan Lopez Azcuy outclassed Pradeep Kumar of Mumbai by technical superiority (11-0) in the men's 74kg category. Up 4-0 at the end of the first round, the Cuban produced a superb counter-attack in the second period to bring down his opponent from a standing position and build up an insurmountable lead.
Reigning World Champion Adeline Gray equalised for Mumbai by defeating Harya's Geetika Jakhar 7-1 in the women's 69kg event. Despite the substantial difference in the fil points tally, Geetika -- a member of the Harya Police -- displayed plenty of fighting spirit.
Geetika gave the three-time World Champion a tough fight in the opening round before Adeline took a 3-0 lead thanks to a lightning quick leg hold. Geetika continued to give Adeline a hard time in the second round, but with just over a minute to go, the American star increased the lead by bringing down her opponent with a single leg hold before unleashing the Fitley move.
Giorgi Sakandelidze put Mumbai in front when he outclassed Hitender of Harya by technical superiority (10-0) in the men's 125kg division.
Giorgi was clearly far superior in terms of technique and quickly built up a 7-0 lead before wrapping up the issue in style with the Fitley move.
Ritu Phogat (women's 48kg) gifted Mumbai an ussailable 4-2 lead in the seven-bout contest by edging past Nirmal Devi of Harya 5-4 in a hard fought bout.
Adritsev Valeriy reduced the margin of defeat for the Hammers by defeating Odikadze Elizbar of Mumbai in a evenly balanced clash in the men's 97kg class. IANS