India’s men and women kabaddi teams maintained their unbeaten run with comfortable victories over their Pakistani rivals to storm into the semifnals of the 12th South Asian Games here today.
The Indian men’s team thrashed Bangladesh 30-17 in the morning session before scrapping past Pakistan in the eveing with a 9-8 result at the R G Baruah Sports Complex. The home team topped the league table with an unbeaten record.
In the women’s section, India toyed with their Pakistani opponents to emerge an easy 56-23 victors before thrashing Bangladesh 43-11 in their last league match to top the group with a clean slate.
India are the defending champions in both men’s and women’s kabaddi in the Games.
The men’s clash between India and Pakistan, who had won silver in the last edition in Dhaka, was a dull affair, much to the disappointment of the crowd that turned up in large numbers.
The Indians led 9-7 at the half time but with main raider Sandeep having been dismissed, they played the second half of 20 minutes without any intention to score points. The Indians appeared to be just bidding for the time to end the match. Sandeep did not play the whole second half.
Pakistan tried hard to score but could not as the Indians pushed themselves up the line to prevent them from taking bonus point. The Pakistanis eventaully got a bonus point but in a bizzare way. The match officials awarded a point to Pakistan as two Indians crossed the middle line in what appeared to be a miscommunication over who would do the raid.
With 34 seconds left on the clock, a Pakistani raider made a desparate bid to score at least a point. In fact, he signalled by raising his hand that he had touched an Indian player but the referee ruled otherwise. That led to an interesting exchange of words between players of both teams before good sense prevailed.