Defending champion India staved off a stiff challenge from Iranian 33-28 for its fourth straight win and stormed into the final of the Asian Kabaddi Championship at the Dong-Eui Institute of Technology Seokdang Cultural Center in Busan,Korea, on Thursday.
Indian captain Pawan Sehrawat led the charge , scoring 16 of the 33 points . Iran, like India, was on unbeaten run coming into the contest.
The teams made a cautious start as match opened. Aslam Inamdar’s two-point raid followed by an all-out and Pawan Sehrawat’s two-point raid helped India build up a healthy lead early on. They held on to the lead and led 19-9 at the half time.
Reigning Asian Games champions Iran, who beat Korea 72-17 earlier in the day, mounted a terrific comeback after the break and handed India their first all-out of the tournament and reduced the gap to just two points with a minute to go.
However, a super tackle by India with 30 seconds to go in the match followed by a two-point raid by Arjun Deshwal helped them to wrap the match up with a five-point margin.
Earlier in the tournament, India beat Japan 62-17, Korea 76-13 and registered a 53-19 win over Chinese Taipei. They will play Hong Kong in their final league match on Friday before playing their final on the same day.
The top two teams after the conclusion of the league stage will play the final. India have won seven of the eight Asian Kabaddi Championship editions played so far while Iran won the title once, in 2003.