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Pakistan pip India 40-31 to win 2nd Asia Cup Kabaddi

India were touted as the red-hot favourites to win the second edition of the Asia Cup Kabaddi Championship which concluded at the Punjab Sports Stadium in Lahore. The Indian raiders had shown their prowess, winning the first four league games with relative ease before locking horns with arch-rivals Pakistan.

But on Monday, hosts Pakistan broke India’s stranglehold on the championship, outclassing them 40-31 in dramatic fashion – it turned into an unfinished final as the match witnessed a stoppage after the Pakistan team raised a technical objection over Indian player Sukhvinder Singh raiding the Pakistani area on two consecutive occasions (raiding an opposition area for two consecutive times is a technical error in kabaddi).

Pakistani kabbadi team captain Musharraf Javed (L) receives the trophy from Indian Punjab state Deputy Chief Cinister Sukhbir Singh Badal after the final of the Kabaddi Asia Cup in Lahore

The visitors did not take the technical objection sportingly and when the match officials upheld the protests of the Pakistan team, the Indian team had had enough and decided to concede the match to the hosts.

The title win was a sweet revenge for the hosts after their defeat in the final of the inaugural edition in Iran last year.

Like any India-Pakistan sporting contest, the final match was buzzing with excitement and expectations. If the form book was a benchmark, India should have pulled it off but it was not to be.

The Pakistani raiders deserve all praise for the way they rose to the occasion against the reigning champions.

The hosts turned in superior holds as well as engaged in smart dodges to upset the Indian applecart. Pakistan led the first half 22-16.

Although India pushed hard in the second half to be on an even kneel with Pakistan, the hosts put their best foot forward and ensured the points difference between the two teams was not more than three points.

The championship would serve as significant preparation for both the teams for the upcoming 3rd Men’s Kabaddi World Cup to be held in India (in Punjab) from December 1 to 15.

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