Kabaddi Masters Dubai: Ajay Thakur leads from front as India crush Pakistan in tournament opener

Dubai: India kick-started the Kabaddi Masters campaign with a facile win over arch-rivals Pakistan. The Ajay Thakur-led side crushed their opponents 36-20 in the inaugural match of the six-nation tournament in Dubai.

Thakur was the wrecker-in-chief as he finished with 10 points in the match. The Indian defenders put up a solid show to restrict the Pakistan raiders and stifled any sort of resurgence from the side. Pakistan could score just 9 raid points in the entire match and Mudassar Ali scored six of them in a lopsided encounter on Friday.

For India, Rohit Kumar put in a solid raiding performance and scored seven points.

 Kabaddi Masters Dubai: Ajay Thakur leads from front as India crush Pakistan in tournament opener

India beat Pakistan in the tournament opener of the Kabaddi Masters Dubai 2018. Agencies

Earlier in the match, it was Thakur who scored the first point with a hand-touch raid to get India up and running. Pakistan retaliated with a bonus point to level the score at 1-1.

India’s star raider Pardeep Narwal was sent to the bench by Pakistan defence in the fourth minute. Thakur continued to impress as he scored points off two successive raids to give India a 4-3 lead after seven minutes of action. Pakistan defence looked sharp in the first 10 minutes of the match and Mudassar Ali scored with a raid for Pakistan as they trailed 5-6 at the 10-minute mark.

A successful review call in the 13th minute helped Pakistan avoid an all out and they trailed 7-9. However, India were sharp on the mat and Rohit's raid point in the 15th minute ensured an all-out was inflicted on the Pakistan side and the scores jumped to 14-8 in India's favour.

India ended the first half on a strong note as they scored seven straight points to lead 22-9A with captain Thakur leading the scoring charts in the first half with 5 raid points.

The second half began with a bang as India handed Pakistan an all-out in the 21st minute to go 25-9 up. Points started drying up for Pakistan as Nasir Ali's tackle point in the 23rd minute saw the side trailing 10-27. Mudassar's super raid cut the deficit to 14 points, but it was smooth sailing for India in the second half as the score read 30-13 after 28 minutes.

With less than 10 minutes to go, India had opened up a 16-point gap and despite Pakistan's super tackles in the 34th and 37th minute, the lead remained the same at the end of the final whistle as India beat Pakistan 36-20

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Updated Date: Jun 23, 2018 00:03:28 IST