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Asia Cup Kabaddi: Defending champions India impress in opener

Six times Asian Games gold medal winners and regional powerhouse India made the near-perfect noises at the second Asia Cup Kabaddi Championship being played at the Punjab Sports Stadium in Lahore.

Indians, who are also the defending champions having beaten arch-rivals Pakistan in the inaugural edition last year, held sway from the start against the Afghan opponents and never allowed them to get on top of them.

The Indian raiders exhibited superior kabaddi skills and literally turned the match into a no-contest, winning it 68-28.

The championship suffered a jolt with the last minute withdrawal of Indonesia prompting the organizers to change the format of the event.

The pullout of Indonesia left six teams – India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Iran, Afghanistan – in the fray and as per the rules, if the event does not have at least seven teams, it should be a round-robin format with the top team declared champions.

As per the earlier format, seven teams were placed in two groups with the top two from each group making it to the semifinals.

Accordingly, the organizers have reworked the schedule. India now play Sri Lanka later today. They play Nepal on November 3, Iran on November 4 and Pakistan on November 5.

Meanwhile, hosts Pakistan gave their supporters plenty to rejoice about, drubbing Iran 60-40 while Sri Lanka edged out Nepal 48-33.

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