India reaches the finals of men’s, women’s kabaddi

Indian men easily downed Bangladesh 29-9 to reach the final of the Kabaddi event here are the R.G. Baruah Sports Complex on Sunday. India will take on traditional rival Pakistan, which beat Sri Lanka 22-11 making a fine comeback in the second half, in the final on Tuesday.

Coming fresh from playing in the ongoing Pro Kabaddi League, the Indian men showed no dearth of competition experience that reflected in the way they toyed with their opponents.   -  Ritu Raj Konwar

Indian men easily downed Bangladesh 29-9 to reach the final of the Kabaddi event here are the R.G. Baruah Sports Complex on Sunday. India will take on traditional rival Pakistan, which beat Sri Lanka 22-11 making a fine comeback in the second half, in the final on Tuesday.

Strong victory

The Indian women’s team displayed greater authority than their male counterparts to subdue Nepal 45-15 in the other semifinal preceding the men’s match. The final will see Indian taking on Bangladesh, which overcame a resurgent Sri Lanka 18-16 in the other semifinal. The two final matches will see repeat of the last edition’s final line-up in Dhaka, where India had won both the golds.

Preserving of its key all-rounders Rahul Chaudhary and Rohit Kumar ahead of the final, Indian men’s team had little problem in getting the better of Bangladesh. India won the first ‘lona’ in the 14th minute as Sandeep, Mohit Chillar and Deepak made some successful raids to run up a 13-3 lead. The score at the half time read 15-3 for India as Bangladesh could hardly make any mark in its attack, most of which ended unsuccessfully.

Competitive advantage

Coming fresh from playing in the ongoing Pro Kabaddi League, the Indian men showed no dearth of competition experience that reflected in the way they toyed with their opponents. Having notched up a slender 9-8 win over traditional rival Pakistan in a low-scoring match in the league stage a day earlier, Indians looked quite perked and repeated the same intensity and picked up the second lona in the 24th minute in the second half to win the match 29-9.

Usha Rani gave the lead with some spectacular raids where she picked up multiple points getting two or three Nepal players out in many of her single raids. The Indian defence also played a prominent role, where Sumitra Sharma orchestrated many tackle points in making most of Nepal’s raids unsuccessful. Indian women led 25-5 at the half-time and added 20 more points in the second, where Nepal tried to be more adventurous picking up 10 points.

Close encounter

The other semifinal was quite interesting where Bangladesh overcame a resurgent Sri Lanka by two points to ensure the title clash against India for the second successive time. Leading 6-3 at half-time, Bangladesh faced good challenge from the Sri Lankans, who picked up points from some good attacks and narrowed the lead. Bangladesh women managed to preserve their slender lead till the end in a acrimonious second half where a player each from both the sides were given temporary suspensions for dissent.

The results (semifinals):

Men’s: India 29 bt Bangladesh 9; Pakistan 22 bt Sri Lanka 11.

Women’s: India 45 bt Nepal 15; Bangladesh 18 bt Sri Lanka 16