Before the Asian Games kicks off, six-nation Kabaddi Masters is being held in Dubai. The World Champions India is the leading contender for the title. The tournament is now nearing its end and we have India facing Iran in the finals. Friday game saw Korea being brought down by India. While in another match, Iran defeated Pakistan to cruise into finals.
The nerve game
Though the final scorecard read 36-20, it was about settling the nerves. Keeping their track record of just one loss against Korea intact, India thumped to the sixth victory in seven matches. In initial stages, it was total Korean hold on the game. Inside the 10th minutes, the score read 3-7. Great skills from captain Ajay Thakur who raked in 10 raid points along with important decisions by coach Srinivas Reddy, paid off well. The replacement of Manu Goyat at the place of Narwal, came out quite handy. The Thakur-Goyat duo proved lethal for Koreans but they didn’t give up. In the halftime, India could manage just 7 points lead with Jang Kun lee in ominous form.
A solid defense
After the changeover, it was Girish Ernak show. the Indian Defender was rock-hard and gave a tough time to opponents. One stand up moment was his singlehandedly tackling of Lee. He pulled Lee back from an advanced position to stun everyone. The second half totally belonged to Indian defense led by Girish which as a result is inflicted an all-out in the 24th minute. This was second all-out in the match, the first one coming a while earlier. In the later stages, raid points by Ajay and Rishank, increased the score to 30-17. The last 5 minutes of match India took it lightly, which gave Korea a chance to improve the tally.
With a win-win record over Korea, India Cruise to final where they will meet Iran, who defeated Pakistan in another match. The Iran challenge for India would be big as the talismanic skipper Mohammed Maghsoudlou would not let it loose against India.