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February 16, 2020

Pakistan set up Kabaddi World Cup final with India

Sports

February 16, 2020

KARACHI: Pakistan and India blasted their way into the final when they overwhelmed their respective rivals Iran and Australia in the semi-finals of the World Cup Kabaddi (circle style) at Punjab Stadium, Lahore, on Saturday.

Pakistan defeated Iran 52-30 and India overpowered Australia 42-32. The final will be held at the same venue on Sunday (today) at 7pm.

Before the decider, Australia will lock horns with Iran in the third place play-off.

In the initial few minutes of the first session, Iran offered good resistance to Pakistan. At one stage they were locked 6-6. However, afterwards Pakistan did some fine job by extending the lead with great pace.

At half time, the Green-shirts were leading 29-17. In the second half too, Pakistan showed class game, edging the Iranians with a decent margin.

Shehzad Akmal Dogar, Nafees Gujjar, Sajjad Gujjar and Waqas Butt did a solid job out there in the middle.

Sajjad Gujjar was declared as the best stopper, while Waqas was adjudged as the best raider of the clash.

Asif Rasheed and Fazal Haq Gujjar supervised the match.

This is the fifth time in the history of the World Cup that Pakistan have qualified for the final.

Pakistan Kabaddi Federation (PKF) secretary Mohamamd Sarwar said that the final would be tough one.

“It would be a tough final as both are good teams,” Sarwar told 'The News'.

“But Pakistan will play in front of the home crowd and that point can be exploited by our players,” said Sarwar, also a former Pakistan captain.

Meanwhile, India beat Australia following a substantial resistance from the latter in front of the jam-packed stadium.

At half time, India were leading 28-14. India also kept tight control on the proceedings, sealing 42-32 victory in the end.

Ravi Prakash was declared as the best raider, while Amritpal Singh was adjudged as the best defender.

The organisers have kept a handsome prize money for the nine-nation global event with the winners to take away Rs 10 million and the runners-up to get Rs 7.5 million. The bronze medallists will claim Rs 5 million.

Kenya were also scheduled to feature in the seventh edition of the World Cup but they skipped it at the eleventh hour due to some issue.