Kabaddi WC: India hammers Thailand, to take on Iran in final

A bonus point earned by Anup Kumar in his opening raid and quick points thereafter through a combination of raids and tackles gave a India control over the match as it crushed Thailand with a massive margin of 73-20.

Anup Kumar provided a strong start for India which later helped in dominating the complete match against Thailand.   -  PTI

India toyed with Thailand to become a runaway winner at 73-20 and make a grand entry into the final of the 2016 Kabaddi World Cup at the Arena by TransStadia here on Friday.

A bonus point earned by Anup Kumar in his opening raid and quick points thereafter through a combination of raids and tackles gave a clear indication as to which way the second semi-final of the day would drift and decisively too. India will meet Iran in the final on Saturday.

The first two all out points were earned in the sixth minute with the Thailand captain and last man standing Khomsan Thongkham sportingly shaking hands with Pardeep Narwal near the centre-line. The Thailand captain realised soon that a one-man show cannot take his team his anywhere against a superior outfit like India.

After the initial hustle and bustle on the mat, the home team thundered towards logging its second all out points. Then a super raid by Pardeep Narwal that ejected Thongkham, among three, resulted in a third all out as virtually the entire Indian team pounced on a hapless Santi Bunchoet.

India led 36-8 at half time. In all Thailand conceded six all out points. For the record Pardeep Narwal scored 14 points, Ajay Thakur 11, Nitin Tomar 7, Anup Kumar and Surender Nada 5 each.

Skipper Meraj Sheykh delivered the goods in a crunch match and paved the way for Iran’s entry into the final. Trailing 4-11 at almost half way through the first half and 11-13 at half time, Iran initially found Gholamabbas Korouki and Mohsen Maghsoudlou showing terrific skills while trying to execute their raid plans and also Abozar Mighani effecting firm tackles.

While Iran found a team game working well for it to pick up crucial points and bridge the gap, it was the electrifying display by Sheykh -- who kicked his right leg and stretched his right hand dexterously to collect touch points in quick succession -- that eventually helped to keep its nose ahead.

The Asian Games silver medallist did not trail again after taking a 16-15 lead a few minutes into the second half. With Farad Milaghardan excelling in tackles and Kouruki also getting more into the picture in the second half, Iran showed its team strength when pitted against a rival that appeared to wilt under pressure. With its star player Jang Kun Lee not finding ways to make majority of his raids successful.

Iran scored 11 tackle points and this changed the game in its favour. Fazel Atrachali’s ankle hold in the closing minutes mirrored Iran’s capacity to win points on the defense side of the game.

Semi-finals: Iran bt Republic of Korea 28-22; India bt Thailand 73-20.

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