Ahmedabad: Instead of shaking hands, Indian players were touching feet of their coach, ministers and dignitaries present after the win. This is why it is called an Indian game and what could be better than the best moment to win the game in front of your home crowd and at India. India defeated mighty Iran by 38-29 to lift the trophy.
India scored all total 22 raid points in which 12 were by star raider Ajay Thakur, 8 tackle points and all out Iran twice. In the first half, the stadium was silent as India was trailing by five points but in the second half the stadium was roaring again with India….India…India…
The first half was in favour of Iran as they were leading in all departments and when India were all out it felt like Iran could be the winner. But this is Kabaddi and you are never out from the mat. It was fighting spirit and glorious comeback by India to defeat Iran. Iranian players were disappointed after all they fought ever wall to reach the final.
The match began with caution where Iran scored their first point in do or die raid by Meraj, however umpire wasn’t convinced, Iran took the successful review to open their account with one point on scoreboard. Raiding department of India was failure in the first half as Ajay, Anup and Pardeep weren’t able to score or gain confidence.
At end of the first half India were trailing with five points 13-18; had only 9 raid points and 3 tackle points. On the other hand, Iran were gaining momentum and confidence with 10 raid points, 6 tackle points and in total 18. First half belonged to Meraj where in 9 raids he scored 5 points. India’s defence was not working and Iranians were targeting Indian star raiders.
It was the comeback in the second half of the match by Ajay when he targeted Fazal & Meraj in one go to show them the bench. From there, there was no comeback for Iran and the match was turned in favour of India. In the second half, Ajay was doing multiple point raids to raise Indian flag at the top.
Entering the second half while India was trailing by 5 points at the end of 10 minutes India was leading by 3 points. Ajay completed his successive Super 10s and Nitin Tomar joined the party later on by scoring multi point raid to all out Iran again.
In the presentation party the Best Referee of the tournament award went to Mr. S.M.A.Mannan of Bangladesh. Emerging team of Kabaddi was Kenya and Most Valuable Player of the tournament is Jang Kun Lee with five matches 29 raid points and courage to turn the match in his country favour. Last but not the least Ajay Thakur emerged as the top scorer in raiding department.