New Delhi: Fire Birds trounced Ice Divas 22-13 to make it to the finals of the Women’s Kabaddi Challenge here at Thyagaraj Sports Complex on Monday.
A terrific defensive performance laid the foundations of Fire Birds victory as they scored 12 tackle points and restricted Ice Divas skipper Abhilasha Mhatre to zero points.
The game wasn’t as one-sided as the scoreline suggests as Ice Divas were in the match till the last four minutes. But Fire Divas called the shots in the last five minutes and will now play Storm Queens in the final of Women’s Kabaddi Challenge on July 31.
Sonali Shingate scored with a raid point in the second minute to open Ice Divas’ account but Mariya Mounika responded with a two-point raid to give Fire Birds 3-1 lead after three minutes. With Abhilasha Mhatre on the bench, Ice Divas struggled to score raid points in the first five minutes. Sonali Shingate scored another point as Ice Divas leveled the game at 3-3. Mamtha Poojari scored her first raid point in sixth minute as Fire Birds led 4-3.
Fire Birds led 5-3 after eight minutes but Ice Divas defence cut the deficit to just in the ninth minute. Fire Birds defence did a fine job in restraining Ice Divas raiders to lead 7-5 after 13 minutes. In the 15th minute, Fire Birds scored a raid point but Sumitra Sharma got Ice Divas back in the game with a super raid to tie the game at 8-8 at the end of first half.
It was a tense start to the second half as both teams exchanged empty raids and a tackle point each with the game level at 9-9 after 18 minutes. Abhilasha Mhatre failed to score a single tackle point for Ice Divas in the first 20 minutes. Ice Divas were awarded a technical point in the 20th minute tie the game at 10-10. Sonali Shingate scored with a raid point in 22nd minute as Ice Divas led 12-10. Fire Birds were reduced to just two players but forced a super tackle in 25th minute as they trailed 12-13.
With five minutes left on the clock, Payal Chaudhry scored a bonus point to level the game at 13-13. Fire Birds forced another super tackle in 26th minute to lead 15-13. Fire Birds extended their lead to four points in 28th minute as they led 17- 13. Fire Birds inflicted an all out in the dying seconds to wrap up the game and win 22-13. (ANI)