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February 17, 2020

Pakistan down India in thrilling Kabaddi WC final

Top Story

February 17, 2020

LAHORE: Pakistan has finally managed to overthrow six time champion India to win the Circle Style Kabaddi World Cup for the first time here at the Punjab Stadium after a thrilling final on Sunday night.

Pakistan in a battle of nerves won over India 43-41 while Iran, Asian champion of Asian style kabaddi, beat Australia for third position. To reach the finals, Pakistan earlier beat Iran by 52-30 while India defeated Australia by 42-32 points and both the teams met for the title encounter for the fifth time. All the players of Pakistan particularly captain M Irfan, Waqas Butt Shafiq were in best of their performance.

Governor Punjab Ch Mohammad Sarwar was the chief guest of the final and gave the winner's trophy and Rs 10 million to Pakistan team while India received silver medals and Rs 7.5 million.

Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Chief Executive Wasim Khan, MCC Chief Executive Guy Lavender and MCC players also witnessed the final. Provincial sports minister Rai Taimoor, Provincial minister Malik Nauman, provincial law minister Raja Basharat, secretary sports Ehsan Bhutta, director general sports Punjab Arshad Aulakh and kabaddi officials were also present there.

Pakistan’s legend singer Ibrab-ul-Haq mesmerized the public gathered in capacityin the stadium to witness the most exciting and stirring battle of attrition. Before the start of final, Pakistan’s legend singer Ibrab-ul-Haq mesmerized the public gathered in capacity in the stadium to witness the most exciting and stirring battle of attrition. Security was so much maintained that a large number of people were not allowed in the stadium despite having tickets.

Pakistan captain M Irfan won the toss and decided to raid. In the very first attempt, Pakistan applied pressure on their blue attired rivals to go up in points through Mohammad Shafiq Chishti. But Vinay Khatri leveled the score. In their fluctuating fortune encounter as one teams took the lead the other came with and equalizer.

At 3-all Pakistan main raiders Shafiq and Waqas Butt conceded three back to back points to be at the back foot at 3-6 and then 4-7. The difference of three points which was increased to six between them remained intact with India showing better strength and technique. And by the close of first half, Pakistan was down with six points at 18-24.

In the second session, Pakistan was in the receiving end as India maintained its lead. At the time when the points were at 24-28 with home team being down, there were some technical hiccups with India claiming Pakistan raider failed to cross the time in 30 seconds but were awarded point and after several reviews the committee declined India's appeal.

Pakistan later had an incredible fight back from there on to come on equal terms at 32-32 and then went ahead two points. During the entire time the fans remained on their toes and expressed joy on Pakistan's fight back at 36-34.

Here too the game was again stopped with India calming point on a double touch but that too was rejected by referees. Just a minutes before the finish, Pakistan raider claimed a double touch point which India opposed but the later was awarded a point. Their nerve wrecking attempts continued till the final whistle and ultimately the two teams separated with Pakistan's winning 43-41.

Earlier, Iran proved too strong for Australia in the third and fourth position match of the mega event here. Iran maintained its grip on the game from the start till the final whistle. Though in between Australia penetrated to get some points but Iran kept things in total control. Iran led the match 30-16 in the first half and won the match 54-33 by the end of the game.

Ramandeep played a vital role in Iran's win and was also declared the best raider while in the defence Ali Raza Safari being the best stopper did not allow rivals to get a free hand.

As many as 10 teams including Pakistan, India, Germany, Azerbaijan, Iran, Canada, Sierra Leone, England, Australia, and Kenya participated in the tournament organized jointly by the Punjab government, Sports Board Punjab and the Pakistan Kabaddi Federation (PKF).

The matches were played in three venues – Punjab Stadium Lahore, Iqbal Cricket Stadium Faisalabad and Zahoor Elahi Stadium Gujrat.

It’s the seventh edition of Circle Style Kabaddi World Cup since its Inaugural Edition in 2010. So far India remains the only Champions throughout all tournaments. India won the title six times whereas Pakistan reached the Final four times in 2010, 2012, 2013 and 2014 but always ended up as a losing side.