LAHORE: Arch-rivals Pakistan and India are set for the Final Takkara of Kabaddi World Cup 2020. The title clash will take place following their convincing victories in semifinal matches against Iran and Australia respectively at Punjab Stadium.
The final between Pakistan and India will be played at the same venue on Sunday, the 16th February at 7.00 pm under floodlights.
In the first Semi Final, India outclassed Australia by 42-32, while Pakistan overwhelmed strong Iranian Kabaddi team by 52-30 in the second semifinal clash.
In the end of the match, Pakistan’s Waqas Butt was declared the best raider and Sajjad Gujjar was the best stopper.
Pakistan was tested by Iran in the second semi-final of the day but the experienced players of the host team won the match 52-30 and booked a the Final Takkra date with India in the final.
Pakistan team was pushed to the back foot in the initial stages of the match. Iran took lead with every raid. They went into neck and neck till 6-6 but from there on Pakistan went ahead in the points and increased with regular sequence. By the end of the first 20 minutes play, Pakistan fought back to lead 29-17 while in the second half, Pakistan tightened their grip on the match and managed to reach the final for the fifth time.
Skipper Irfan Mana led from the front and made several successful raids for his team. He was ably supported by his players Akmal Shahzad Dogar, Sajid Gujjar, and Binyameen Malik. Akmal Shahzad Dogar thrilled the spectators with elusive jumps and getting away from the clutches of the Iran stoppers. For Iran team, Mustafa Saadqi, M. Farazi and Ameer Muhammadi remained top point scorers.
Iranian raiders tried their best to break Pakistan’s control on the match but Pakistan raiders foiled their attempts quite effectively and won the match with a clear margin. The first half ended at 17-29. Both the teams demonstrated equally magnificent fight and kept the pressure on each other.
Earlier in the first semi-final defending champion India took control of the match right from the beginning against Australia. India in its seventh World Cup semi-final, showed its supremacy with every raid. The men in blue maintained their dominance in both the halves as they led the first 20 minutes at 28-14. India was given lead in the match over Australia by Arsh Chola, Vinay Khatri, Ravi Deora and Malvinder Singh Mala.
Australia grabbed four back to back points in the second half of the match. They displayed much improved the game after the breather but India’s grip on the match remained intact throughout the time. Finally India booked a place in the title encounter after 42-32 win over Australia in the first semi-final.
Ravi Gujjar of India was declared the best raider of the match while Amerjeet was the best defender. Zaigham Subhani Gujjar and Deepa from Australia also showed excellent game the high-profile clash.
After the match, World Kabaddi Federation, President Dr. Abbas handed the World Cup trophy to Pakistan Kabaddi Federation, which will be given to the winner of the Final.