HARYANA HAMMERS rode on a superb performance from their captain and icon player Yogeshwar Dutt to overpower Uttar Pradesh Warriors (UPW) 4-3 to register their third win on the trot in the inaugural edition of the Pro Wrestling League (PWL) in Greater Noida on Saturday.
Both teams were engaged in a neck and neck fight and the scores were locked 3-3 before Yogeshwar defeated a spirited Vikas 9-4 in the men's 65kg division in what was the seventh and final bout of the day.
With this win, the Hammers have climbed to the joint top position on the PWL points table along with Mumbai Garudas. Both teams have accumulated six points each from their first three matches.
UPW remain on two points, having managed to win only one of the five matches they have played so far.
Haryana kicked off the proceedings in style as Nitin Sergey defeated UPW's Ratushniy 3-1 in the men's 57kg category to give his team the early lead.
Nitin took a 2-0 lead in the opening round and held on to the advantage till the end.
Oleksandra Kogut brought UPW back on level terms by beating Nirmal Devi 6-4 in the women's 48kg category.
Kogut was trailing 0-1 at the break. But a successful counter-attack against an aggressive move from Nirmal Devi in the second round enabled her to earn five points which proved to be decisive in the end.
Hitender put the Hammers back in the lead by overpowering UPW's Joginder Kumar 4-0 in the men's 125kg division.
Alina Stadinik Makhina (women's 69kg) outclassed Haryana's Geetika Jakhar by technical superiority (11-0) to level the issue for UPW.
The Hammers put themselves back in the lead when their Cuban star Livan Lopez Azcuy beat Mongolia's 2015 World Championship silver medallist Purevjav Unurbat of UPW 4-1 in the men's 74kg class.
Lopez took a 1-0 lead when the referee invoked the Passivity rule against Unurbat. Up 2-0 at the break, Lopez took another two points in the second and final round with a superb takedown.
UPW levelled the scores again as Babita Kumari (women's 53kg) defeated Tatyana Kit of Haryana 8-6 in a hard fought clash.
But Haryana captain Yogeshwar led from the front to defeat a gallant Vikas Kumar 9-4 in the last bout of the day to ensure a hard fought victory for Haryana.
Vikas gave a good account of himself in the opening round to take a 4-3 lead at the break. But Yogeshwar showed his class in the second period, notching up six points to complete a comprehensive win.