Kabaddi Masters Dubai 2018, Iran vs Pakistan: 5 Talking Points
The action resumed in the Kabaddi Masters Dubai 2018 as the first semi-final of the tournament saw World Cup runners-up Iran took on fellow Asian side Pakistan at the Al Wasl Sports Complex in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
The two sides came into this crucial encounter on the back of victories against their respective opponents in the final match of the group stage.
Iran overcame the newcomers Argentina with ease establishing their authority in the group topping the standings. Pakistan faced African side Kenya in their final match and secured their spot in the final four with a strong performance all-around.
Pakistan were hit with the injury of their experienced captain Nasir Ali and Wasim Sajjad took the mantle of leading the side tonight as Qaisir Abbas replaced Ali in the starting seven.
Pakistan's raiding department was led by the duo of Muhammad Nadeem and Mudassar Ali who had done fairly well in the tournament so far, especially Nadeem.
The Pakistani defence hoped to put up a strong fight against the Iranian raiders despite the absence of Nasir Ali.
Iran fielded a strong starting lineup with the absence of Mohammad Maghsoudlou as Saeed Ghaffari and Amin Nosrati took the raiding responsibility tonight along with Mohammad Nabibaksh, the impressive all-rounder in the Iran lineup.
The experienced Hadi Tajik and Mohammad Maleki led the defence for the Iranians as they were well set to quell the threat of the Pakistani raiders.
Iran won the semi-final clash with a strong all-round performance defeating Pakistan with a scoreline of 40-21 as Pakistan fail to capitalize on a good opportunity in the first half to take control.
#1 Iran run away into a strong lead within five minutes
The Iranian side fielded a well-rounded lineup with a good mix of players who raided as well as defended well.
Iran's semi final was off to a banger as Mohammad Nabibaksh began with a stellar 'Super Raid' putting the Iranians on course for a strong start.
The Iranian all-rounded went into raid from the right side of the mat and tried to get the bonus with a reverse leg extension.
However, he was blindsided by the defenders on his left side but he displayed great upper body strength and turned to his back and fell towards the mid-line managing to get his hand over and score three points.
Capitalising on this raid, Iran imposed their dominance quite early in the match and went into a 9-1 lead within the first five minutes.