Ahmedabad: The Indian Kabaddi team on Saturday emerged as winners of the Kabaddi World Cup 2016 by beating Iran with the score line 38-29.
In the first half of the match Iran led India by 18-13. However, in the second half of the match Ajay Thakur scored a super raid that brought India back into the game. Thakur created history by achieving his fifth super 10 of the Kabaddi World Cup. This achievement by Thakur gave a boost to the team India to win against Iran.
India and Iran won their respective semi-finals to enter the final of the Kabaddi World Cup here on Friday.
Surjeet took India’s first point of the match with his team’s second raid.
But with four Pro Kabaddi League (PKL) stars in their ranks, the Iranians soon showed that they have improved a lot as they started to dominate proceedings.
Iran fought back to take a 3-2 lead before Thakur restored parity with a superb raid, staving off an attempted tackle by wrestling his opponent over the line.
The visitors outwitted Pardeep Narwal during his raid to regain the lead but the Indian defence thwarted the next Iranian raid to level the scores.
A botched attempt by the Indian defenders saw both Pardeep and Manjeet Chillar sitting out, which handed Iran a 9-7 lead.
Anup Kumar fell during the next Indian raid as the Iranians built up a crucial three-point lead.
With India reduced to just two men, Mohit Chhillar and Surendar Nada earned two points, pulling off a super tackle.
But the Iranians continued their impressive form to inflict the first all out of the match on the hosts and take a 16-12 lead.
The teams went into the half-time break with Iran leading 18-13.
Thakur produced a superb raid early in the second half to dismiss two Iranian defenders and reduce the deficit to 16-19.
A couple of excellent raids by Thakur and a superb piece of defending saw the hosts draw level at 20-20.
Thakur scored his third successive a point in another raid before the Indians inflicted an all out on their opponents to take the lead for the first time in the contest at 24-21.
Thakur continued his exploits in raiding as the Indians gradually bolstered their lead.
The hosts made short work of Thailand, crushing them 73-20 to enter their third consecutive World Cup final in style, while Iran came from behind to overpower a spirited South Korea 28-22.
This win is India’s third straight World Cup Kabaddi title.