Unstoppable Mumbai notch another win, roar into final

Mumbai Garuda made short work of Bengaluru Yodhas to maintain their unbeaten run and gatecrash into the final of the inaugural Pro Wrestling League on Friday.

The 5-2 semifinal win against Bengaluru was Mumbai’s sixth in as many matches and they go into Sunday’s title clash as the sole unbeaten side in the six-team league.

The second semifinal will be played between Punjab Royals and Haryana Hammers at the Indira Gandhi Indoor Stadium here on Saturday.

It was Mumbai all the way in the first semifinal. Odikadze Elizbar outwitted Pavlo Oliynik 7-2 in the opening bout in the men’s 97kg class. Odikadze led 3-2 after the first round and ran away with the contest in the second, giving Mumbai the early advantage.

The next bout was in the women’s 48kg category between Ritu Phogat and Alyssa Lampe, the 2013 World Championship bronze medallist from USA. Ritu had got the better of Alyssa earlier in the competition.

The American had a 4-1 advantage going into the break before Ritu staged a dramatic turnaround, very much like in their last encounter, to make it 8-4 and eventually won the battle 10-4 on technical superiority.

“I spoke to the coach after trailing 0-4 in the first round. He told me to tire her (Alyssa) out and it worked,” said Ritu shortly after her exciting comeback.

With a 2-0 lead in the semifinal, Mumbai were well on their way to maintain their unbeaten run in the tournament.