Thu, Mar 23, 2017 | updated 05:37 AM IST

Kabaddi WC: India overcome Iran 38-29 to lift third straight title

Updated: Oct 23, 2016 11:00 IST

Ahmedabad (Gujarat) [India], Oct.23 (ANI): A brilliant second half performance saw India stage a memorable comeback as they beat a resolute Iran side 38-29 in the title clash to lift this year's Kabaddi World Cup at the TransStadia Arena here last evening.

Riding on a terrific performance by Ajay Thakur's 12 points, India produced a strong comeback in the second to send the packed crowd into raptures.

It has been an enthralling two weeks, as Kabaddi truly become a global game. The 2016 World Cup provided with thrills, excitement and reached out to the hearts of millions across the world. India lived up to their favourites tag and delighted their fans all over the country.

The final was like a boxing bout as both teams traded punches and gave it as good as they got. India struck the early blows as Sandeep Narwal and Ajay Thakur scored raid points to lead 2-0 in the third minute. Meraj Sheykh scored Iran's first point as they leveled the game at 2-2 in the fourth minute.

Iran's defence were up for it as they contained Pardeep Narwal effectively and then sent Ajay Thakur to the bench to lead 5-4 in the eighth minute.

The match lived up to its expectations as both teams fought hard and refused to give an inch. Skipper Anup Kumar scored his trademark bonus point to level the scores at 6-6 in the 10th minute.

Meraj Sheykh scored with an excellent raid and reduced India to just three men as Iran led 9-7 in the 13th minute. India's defence had a below par first 15 minutes as they scored just one tackle point. Iran reduced India to just two men but a brilliant super tackle by Mohit Chhillar the 16th minute to cut the lead to just one point again.

Meraj Sheykh continued to be a thorn in the Indian defence but Nitin Tomar came up with a brilliant raid and scored two points in the 18th minute as India trailed 11-12. India were again reduced to just one man and Iran inflicted the first all out of the match in the 19th minute to lead 16-12. The first-half belonged to Iran's defence as they did a brilliant job on Indian raiders, leading by 18-13 at the end of the first half. Both Manjeet Chhillar and Pardeep Narwal scored zero points and their subdued performances hurt India's chances.

Iran made India commit errors as Meraj Sheykh forced Manjeet Chhillar off the court during a raid to lead 19-13 in the 23rd minute. Ajay Thakur scored two points in the 25th minute as India cut the lead to three points and sent Fazel Atrachali and Meraj Sheykh to the bench. Iran sent Pardeep Narwal to the bench yet again as they led 20-17 in the 28th minute. The tide turned for India when Ajay Thakur scored his ninth point in the 29th minute to level the game at 20-20. India inflicted their first all out the match in the 30th minute to lead 24-21 as they took their biggest lead of the match.

The all out was perhaps the fillip India needed as Ajay Thakur completed his super 10 and sent Meraj Sheykh to the bench. India led 26-21 with nine minutes to go. TransStadia Arena was a cauldron of noise and passion as India played it smart once they had the lead.

Nitin Tomar produced another excellent raid in the 34th minute as India led 29-22 and reduced Iran to just two men. Fazel Atrachali forced a super tackle in the 35th minute as Iran trailed 24-29. Ajay Thakur all but sealed the match in India's favour in the 37th minute as he scored two points and India inflicted another all out to take an unassailable 34-24 lead. Meraj Sheykh scored with a two-point raid in the 28th minute as Iran trailed 27-34. Surjeet, however, produced an excellent tackle on Sheykh in the 39th minute as India led 35-27. A terrific second half performance saw India emerge victorious as they won 37-30 to become the world champions for the third time.

Kenya were named the emerging team of the tournament as they won a lot of hearts and almost made it to the semi finals. Jang Kun Lee who had a superb tournament was named the Most Valuable Player of the World Cup. The best referee of the tournament award was given to SMA Mannan from Bangladesh. (ANI)

Mumbai [India], Mar. 22 (ANI): India's top-order batsman Cheteshwar Pujara and all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja are the latest names to be elevated to Grade A of the Annual Players Contracts following their stellar performances in the ongoing four-match Test series against Australia.

Full Story >>

Scotland to host Zimbabwe for two ODIs in June

Updated: Mar 22, 2017 19:42 IST

Johannesburg [South Africa], Mar.22 (ANI): Scotland is all set to host Zimbabwe for a two-match ODI series in June this year, the Cricket Scotland has confirmed the news.

Full Story >>

Mumbai [India], Mar. 22 (ANI): India's top-order batsman Cheteshwar Pujara and all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja are the latest names to be elevated to Grade A of the Annual Players Contracts, after their stellar performances in the ongoing four-match Test series against Australia.

Full Story >>

London [U.K], Mar.22 (ANI): Manchester United star striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic has revealed that his differences with the then Barcelona manager Pep Guardiola continues to drive him on.

Full Story >>

Vettel names his 2017 Ferrari F1 car as 'Gina'

Updated: Mar 22, 2017 17:37 IST

Johannesburg [South Africa], Mar.22 (ANI): Four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel has continued his tradition of naming his Formula One car for the upcoming season.

Full Story >>

Mumbai [India], Mar.22 (ANI): The BCCI Committee of Administrators (COA) has issued a clarification to what it describes to be as "misconceived" media reports suggesting that the Maharashtra Cricket Association (MCA) and the Gujarat Cricket Association have been selected as the only full members of the BCCI from Maharashtra and Gujarat respectively.

Full Story >>

Wawrinka backs Federer to become oldest No.1

Updated: Mar 22, 2017 15:11 IST

Johannesburg [South Africa], Mar.22 (ANI): French tennis star Stan Wawrinka has backed eighteen-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer to become the oldest player in history to seal the world number one spot at the age of 35.

Full Story >>

Karachi [Pakistan], Mar. 22 (ANI): The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has hit out at the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) over the ongoing probe into Pakistan Super League (PSL) spot-fixing scandal, stating that it is solely their domain to investigate the players involved in any 'wrongdoings'.

Full Story >>

Melbourne [Australia], Mar. 22 (ANI): Expecting the pitch in Dharamsala to favour the pace bowlers, former Australian fast bowler Mitchell Johnson believes Steve Smith-led side wil; be more confident compared to the India who will be 'little nervous' for the series decider, beginning Saturday.

Full Story >>

Rooney likely to return to Everton this summer

Updated: Mar 22, 2017 13:29 IST

London [UK], Mar. 22 (ANI): Manchester United skipper Wayne Rooney is likely to make a return to his boyhood club Everton this summer.

Full Story >>

Hamilton [New Zealand], Mar.22 (ANI): New Zealand wicketkeeper-batsman BJ Watling has insisted that his side will not dwell on their second Test defeat to South Africa and instead look forward to perform at their menacing best in the last match of the series as it could define their season.

Full Story >>

Melbourne [Australia], Mar. 22 (ANI): Australian left-arm pacer Mitchell Starc has said that India were scared of losing the ongoing Border-Gavaskar Trophy after their unexpected loss in Pune and that's why they started with verbal confrontations with the visitors.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Mar. 22 (ANI): India Gaming Conclave, an initiative aimed to be an annual event for the stakeholders to converge and discuss on working towards a legalized and regulated gaming industry in India was launched in New Delhi on March 17. The event was aimed at educating and creating awareness on all aspects of gaming.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Mar. 22 (ANI): Kick boxing, like any other sport in India, is making its recognition courtesy junior champion Tajamul Islam, who made the country proud last year by winning the gold medal at the world Kickboxing Championship of under-eight players in Italy's Andria region.

Full Story >>

Bastian Schweinsteiger to join Chicago Fire

Updated: Mar 22, 2017 10:14 IST

Manchester [UK], Mar. 22 (ANI): Manchester United midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger is all set to join Chicago Fire as a deal has been agreed between the club and the player.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Mar. 22 (ANI): Legendary Bollywood actor Amitabh Bachchan has thrown his weight behind Indian skipper Virat Kohli, who was recently compared by an Australian daily with US President Donald Trump.

Full Story >>

Wellington [New Zealand], Mar. 22 (ANI): South Africa wicketkeeper-batsman Quinton de Kock and New Zealand pacer Trent Boult both are in doubt for the third and the final Test beginning March 25 at Seddon Park as both are suffering from an injury.

Full Story >>

BCCI and CA to partner for Exchange Programs

Updated: Mar 21, 2017 20:02 IST

Mumbai [India],Mar.21 (ANI): The National Cricket Academy (NCA) has undertaken an initiative to conduct a refresher course for the existing accredited coaches of BCCI in conjunction with Cricket Australia.

Full Story >>

London [U.K], Mar.21 (ANI): Conor McGregor, the reigning UFC lightweight champion, has vowed to shock the boxing world by defeating unbeaten American Floyd Mayweather in a potential fight, whose deal the former claims is `very close` to being confirmed.

Full Story >>

Johannesburg [South Africa], Mar. 21 (ANI): Following Sri Lanka's first ever Test loss to Bangladesh, a newspaper in the country has published an obituary for Sri Lankan cricket.

Full Story >>