Busan (South Korea), June 29: India stormed into the final of the Asian Kabaddi Championship after registering a narrow 33-28 win over Iran at the Dong-Eui Institute of Technology Seokdang Cultural Center, here on Thursday. With a win over Iran, India stood strong on top standing. This was India’s fourth win on the trot. The Indian men’s kabaddi team will play Hong Kong on Friday in the last league stage game before the final, scheduled on the same day. The top two teams after the conclusion of the league stage will play the final. India captain Pawan Sehrawat led from the front, scoring 16 of the 33 points for India. Asian Kabaddi Championship 2023: India Begin Title Defence With Two Consecutive Victories.

India and Iran, both on unbeaten runs coming into the contest, had a watchful start and were going head-to-head in the first quarter. Aslam Inamdar earned a 2-point raid in the 11th minute. Later, India inflicted an All-Out to extend their lead to 11-5. Sehrawat escaped past two Iranian defenders to stretch their lead to 17-7 with four minutes left in the first half. Iranian defenders produced a Super Tackle against Inamdar to end the first half trailing by 19-9.

Iran, the reigning Asian Games champions, mounted a terrific comeback after the break as they inflicted an All-Out, cutting down the deficit to four points at 26-22 with six minutes left. Georgian Shooter Nino Salukvadze Set to Become First-Ever Athlete to Qualify For 10th Consecutive Olympics.

A super tackle by India with 30 seconds to go in the match followed by a two-point raid by Arjun Deshwal helped India seal a thriller with a 33-28 scoreline to continue their unbeaten run in the tournament. India have won seven of the eight Asian Kabaddi Championship editions played so far while Iran won the title once, in 2003.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Jun 29, 2023 04:02 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website latestly.com).