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February 14, 2020

Pakistan thump Australia to reach Kabaddi World Cup semis

Sports

February 14, 2020

KARACHI: Pakistan blasted their way into the semi-finals after whipping Australia in their Group B second game of the Kabaddi World Cup (circle style) at the Iqbal Stadium in Faisalabad on Thursday.

After defeating Canada comprehensively in their opener at Lahore on February 9, the hosts did a fine job against the inexperienced Aussies, taming them with an enviable ease 62-25.

Azerbaijan are the others in Pakistan’s four-nation pool who are yet to record a win after playing two games in the nine-nation seventh edition of the global event being held for the first time in Pakistan.

Being led by Irfan Mana, Pakistani raiders Lala Obaidullah, Kaleemullah and Bilal were seen in their fine elements as they scored substantial points to provide a superb win to the Green-shirts.

They were also superbly backed by the defence line, carrying Musharraf Janjua, Shani Basra and Zafar Iqbal. Despite the loss, Australia are also in the semi-finals with two wins.

Earlier, defending champions India showed their class, overcoming Iran 50-39 in their Group A contest, their third win from as many matches.

In the jam-packed venue, Iran showed to the Indians that they are also making rapid progress in circle style after having pulled off some major upsets in the Asian style kabaddi over the years. At one stage both sides were going neck in neck. However, in the second half India brought into play the best experience, lagging Iran much behind before sealing a solid win.

In the other Group A outing, Sierra Leone faced a huge 43-14 defeat at the hands of Germany.

It was the second win for Germans, while the fourth successive loss for Sierra Leone. Germany’s Manpreet Singh and Kuldeep Singh played with great authority to bring in a big win for their team.

On Friday (today) at the Zahoor Elahi Stadium in Gujrat, Pakistan will face Azerbaijan in their last pool outing. And the win will enable Pakistan to top the group. India will face England. The win for India will make them the group champions. And in that case Pakistan will face Iran and India will lock horns with Australia in the semi-finals.