After conceding the opening point, India pressed hard to dominate the first half (27-10) of its crucial Group A league match against Bangladesh in the 2016 Kabaddi World Cup at 'The Arena by TransStadia' here on Tuesday.
Though much of skipper Anup Kumar’s raids, directed at the right corner defense, came to a nought with Ferodous Sheikh excelling in ankle hold tackles, Pardeep Kumar and substitute Ajay Thakur effected successful raids.With Manjeet Chillar also proving to be a smart tackler with help from Surjeet and Anup Kumar, India did not allow its stranglehold on the match to ease and crushed its opponent 57-20. The second win in three matches virtually ensured a semifinal spot for India in the World Cup.
With its attack and defence working like a well-oiled machine, India gained four 'all out' points in the first session. India did not field one of its rising stars Rahul Chaudhari in the starting line up, but opted for the two Narwals – Pardeep and Sandeep, and Deepak Hooda. Perhaps not fully fit, the usually reliable Anup Kumar fell three times to ankle-hold grips, but raiders Pardeep and Thakur rose to the occasion and sustained the pressure on Bangladesh.
Bangladesh’s livewire and key raider Aruduzzaman Munshi did not score his first raid pount until after his team had conceded the first all-out points. The three-time silver medallist at the Asian Games faced an Indian side that was cheered by a packed crowd numbering around 2500 spectators. Having established a big lead — by way of gaining two more all-out points - India even called up the likes of Nitin Tomar, Surendra Nada and Kiran Parmar from the bench in the second half in order to give them valuable exposure.
India, clearly rattled by the reverse against Korea in the opening match, had trained for four hours at the Karnavathi Club on Monday. The eventual margin of defeat deflated the Bangladeshis, thrilled the crowd and pleased the team management. India will now play England and Argentina in the remaining league matches on October 15 and 18. India scored 28 raid points and 20 tackle points.
In the first match of the day, Iran, playing without an indisposed Meraj Sheykh, prevailed over Kenya by a narrow five-point margin. It was Iran’s third straight win which helped the Incheon Games silver medallist lead Group `B’ with 15 points.
Results: Group A: India bt Bangladesh 57-20; Group B: Iran bt Kenya 33-28;