A superlative effort from the Men in Blue saw them emerge as the champions and clinch a comfortable 44-26 victory over Iran in the summit clash as the Kabaddi Masters 2018 came to a close at the Al Wasl Sports Club in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The six-team competition, which featured teams from India, Iran, Pakistan, Kenya, Argentina and Republic of South Korea witnessed some thrilling action as the teams put their best foot forward in a bid to stamp their authority in the tournament.
On one hand, Argentina and Kenya, the latest entrants at this level came into the competition with some exciting names in the squad but were left to face the harsh reality as neither of the teams could notch up victories from their group stage matches but finished with a lot of positives.
On the other hand, India and Iran, unbeaten on their path to the finals exhibited some top-flight kabaddi all the way through and enjoyed some fantastic bench strength, brushing aside strong challenges from South Korea and Pakistan respectively in the semifinals to set up a repeat fixture from the finals of the 2016 Kabaddi World Cup.
All through the tournament, most of the teams relied on their defensive units for a majority of their points which did not undermine the performance of some of the raiders, who stole the spotlight with their raiding prowess. Here are the top five raiders from the competition.
#5 Muhammad Nadeem - Pakistan
The young Pakistan raider was in his elements in most of the matches barring the semifinals and his contribution to the Pakistan setup was instrumental in their qualification for the knockout stages.
Alongside Mudassar Ali, Nadeem's nippy raiding was a vital contributing factor to Pakistan's dominance over Kenya in both their group stage matches in the round-robin stages as the talented raider went about his task with ease and kept Pakistan in the driver's seat at all times.
Even against the Indian setup in the group stages, Nadeem used his reach and agility to good effect as he managed to make matters difficult for the Indian defense.
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