Iranian Mohammad Esmaeil Nabibakhsh produced a stellar display as he powered World 7 to a last-gasp 33-32 win over Indian 7 in the Pro Kabaddi League (PKL 2019) All Stars clash at Hyderabad's Gachibowli Stadium on Saturday.
The Indian side, led by Ajay Thakur, looked in fantastic form in the first half and enjoyed a comfortable 20-14 lead. However World 7 made a strong comeback in the dying stages of the game to claim victory from the jaws of defeat.
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After a bit of a see-saw battle to begin with, last season's MVP Pawan Kumar Sehrawat produced a Super Tackle and claimed the first All Out of the game to give his side a 14-9 lead. World 7 tried to claw its way back into the tie and the defensive duo of Fazel and Abozar did particularly well to trouble the Indian raiders. South Korea's Jang Kun Lee was the World 7's star raider and chipped in with points when it mattered the most.
The second half saw a completely different World 7 side. The comeback began when Lee got Indian captain Ajay and Girish Ernak out in the 25th minute in a do-or-die raid for to reduce the deficit to four points at 23-19. Pawan went on to complete a Super 10 in the 31st minute when he slipped out of Abozar's tackle and Indian 7 appeared to be heading for victory. Ravinder Pahal claimed a Super Tackle on Nabibakhsh with a waist hold in the 37th minute to take the score to 29-26.
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However, the last three minutes of the tie saw a complete reversal of fortunes. Nabibakhsh got Girish and Nitesh Kumar out in the 39th minute, claiming an All Out and won four invaluable points, giving Word 7 a crucial two point lead at 32-30. Pawan went on the Indian side's last raid, but could not escape Lee's ankle hold.
That proved to be decisive as the World 7 side secured a remarkable comeback win.
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