Skipper Ajay Thakurs brilliance helped India hammer Iran 44-26 in the final match to lift the Kabaddi Masters trophy at the Al Wasl Sports Club in Dubai. Iran, who impressed with their performance in this six-nation meet, were expected to give some fight to the mighty Indian team but they failed to do so. Right from the beginning, their defenders and raiders struggled in a match which was delayed for a couple of minutes in the first half as the lights went out.

Unlike the last match, where India failed to take the lead in initial 15 minutes, India started off perfectly. Raiders and defenders did their job from the start and helped their team to gain four points lead in first four minutes of the game.

Skipper Ajay Thakur, Monu Goyat, Rishank kept on stealing the points, as a result, India forced Iran to play with only two players. Soon India inflicted an all out in the seventh minute of the game to make it 10-2.

Iran tried to reduce the point difference towards the end of the first half but failed and both teams finished the first half proceedings with India leading 18-11.

The second half saw India making second all-out of the match in just four minutes to make scoreboard count 24-12. India's dominance continued as defenders Surjeet, Girish were thrashing the Iran raiders and grabbing them at will.

India again forced Iran to play with two players when Ajay made a superb raid in the 28th minute but Iran revived their players soon started counter-attacking.

India felt the heat in the last couple of minutes as Iran went all-out in the raids and defenders were tackling down Indian players aggressively.

Unperturbed by the aggressive game, India played calmly and slowed down the pace of the game. Coach Srinivas Reddy also made a few substitutions, bringing in experienced Rahul Chaudhary.

With three most experienced players on the mat for India, Ajay, Surjeet, and Rahul played some other level game as the trio changed the match scenario In few minutes and inflicted an all-out to swell their lead 24 points (44-22). The last few seconds saw Iran taking few points but it was too late as India wrapped up the issue comfortably.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Jun 30, 2018 10:08 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website