Asiad men’s kabaddi: India knocks off Pakistan in semifinals

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The Indian men’s kabaddi team knocked off Pakistan 61-14 in the semifinal of the Asian Games 2023 here on Friday.

This victory is a sort of correcting of the semifinal match at 2018 Jakarta Games when India lost to Iran. This also is India’s 8th entry into the finals of the continental meet. Until 1990, India won 7 gold medals since the inception of kabaddi in 1990.

India began on a poor note with Pakistani defenders got two tackle points, and a two-point raid by Mazhar Iqbal reduced India to three. Despite this, India re-grouped and notched an all-out.

Quickly, India led Pakistan 10-4 after down with 0-4 scoreline. Eight of those 10 points were accumulated through star raider Naveen Kumar’s multi-point raids.

Pawan Sehrawat, who was stopped by the Pakistani defence on the first raid, crafted a super raid to widen the chasm between the arch rivals. Aslam Inamdar also chiseled in. Thereafter, it was one-way traffic for India. India wrecked two more all-outs and led Pakistan 30-5 at the half-time.

Sachin Tanwar and Akash Shinde replaced Pawan Sehrawat and Naveen Kumar in the second half but that did not affect India’s scoring rate.

Pakistan managed to improve their game by a notch early in the second half. Still, India proved too strong and inflicted two more all-outs on the two-time silver medallists to enter the final and face against Iran or Chinese Taipei on Saturday.

This was India’s seventh win against Pakistan at the Asian Games in as many matches.

Earlier in their campaign, India made it to the semi-finals unbeaten with four wins out of four matches in the group stage. Chinese Taipei came second with three wins and a loss against India.

Chinese Taipei will face defending champions Iran in the second semi-finals of kabaddi at the Asian Games 2023 later in the day.

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