Favourites India began their campaign on a rousing note crushing arch-rivals Pakistan 36-20 in the inaugural Kabaddi Masters Championship, on Friday. The event is organised by the International Kabaddi Federation in partnership with Star India Pvt Ltd and Dubai Sports Council.
At the packed Al-Wasl Sports Complex, Indian skipper Ajay Thakur's brilliance found India opening up a commendable 22-9 lead at the break and there was no looking back. Thakur scored 15 raid points and was equally strong in tackle which fetched the team 12 more points.
It was a clinical performance by India in the first-half of that opening game. After a rather sedate start for the first 10 minutes, the Indian team switched gears to completely destabilise Pakistan, taking a 13-point lead at the half-time. Giving full credit to Thakur for his incisive raids, India coach Srinivas Reddy said: "He broke both their corners and dismantled their defence early on."
Pakistan were no match to India once they built the momentum and their coach rued it on their late arrival after the team faced some Visa hurdles. Pakistan managed to sneak in a few points towards the closing stages but it was too little too late.
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