Kabaddi Masters: India comfortably beats Pakistan

India defeated Pakistan 36-20 to get its Kabaddi Masters Dubai 2018 campaign off to a winning start.

Pakistan raider Nasir Ali (green jersey) is tackled by Indian defenders in the Kabaddi Masters Dubai 2018 in Al Wasl on June 22.   -  Special Arrangement

India coasted past Pakistan 36-20 in its opening match of the Kabaddi Masters Dubai 2018, at Al Wasl Sports Complex here on Friday. 

Pakistan paid a heavy price for poor defending, which allowed India to march on unchecked. The Pakistan antis frequently broke the chain to attempt silly solo tackles. For the Indian raiders, led by skipper Ajay Thakur, it was easy pickings. 

Pakistan stayed competitive in the early minutes, holding India to a manageable 8-10 deficit. An all-out, however, saw India seize the initiative with a 14-8 lead. A second all-out gave India a huge 25-9 advantage. 

Pakistan's Ibrar Hussain attempted to infuse some life with a low reverse leg-sweep raid, and gained a touch on Surender. His Indian teammates, however, piled on Ibrar to snuff his challenge. 

The energetic crowd, which included actor Abhishek Bachhan and Sports Minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, perhaps would have liked to have seen a closer encounter. 

Union Sports Minister Rajyavardhan Rathore dismissed Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik's suggestion to recognise hockey as the official national sport. Rathore, who is here to watch the Kabaddi Masters, stated, "Indians have space in their hearts for many sports. At one time, cricket ruled the roost, but that is not the case any more. There is no need to single out one sport as the official national sport. It does not serve any purpose."