South Asian Games 2019: Indian men win kabaddi gold with victory over Sri Lanka
The Sri Lankans couldn't overcome the odds as they were thrashed by the experienced Indian side, and the former had to settle with second place, clinching the silver medal for the first-ever time in the competition.
India started with Nitesh Kumar and Vishal Bhardwaj in the corner positions, while Sunil Kumar and Parvesh Bhainswal shielded from the cover positions. Skipper Deepak Niwas Hooda led the charge along with Pawan Sehrawat and Naveen Kumar for company on the offensive front.
India won the toss and chose court to start the fixture. As expected, India began proceedings with a flurry of points led by Pawan Sehrawat, who clinched the first bonus and touchpoints in the starting minutes of the match. Later in the half, Naveen then scored two raid points during Sri Lanka's Super Tackle opportunity.
The Sri Lankan raiders, led by Ranidu Chamara also bagged quick raid points from the corners in their attempt to close out a three-point deficit. However, India managed to inflict their first All-Out within the first ten minutes of the match and followed it with yet another All-Out in the 16th minute as the half-time score read 28-11.
Pawan Sehrawat started with a touchpoint in the second half. The Indian defenders showed their intent in the encounter with Nitesh Kumar and Vishal Bhardwaj executing brilliant ankle holds and back holds over the Sri Lankan raiders.
Amit Hooda replaced Sunil Kumar, who picked up an injury during his attempt to produce a tackle point. Sri Lanka reduced India down to three men after Deepak Niwas Hooda was tackled before India scripted a comeback courtesy of Vishal Bhardwaj's brilliant touchpoint in his only raid which saved a potential All Out advantage to Sri Lanka.
Pardeep Narwal was introduced in the second half with five minutes left on the clock. Sri Lanka couldn't score a single point in the final few minutes as India managed to inflict the third All Out. With India producing an all-round performance, the defending champions picked up a massive 33-point read as the score read 51-18 at full time.
Earlier, the Indian women's team defeated Nepal by a 50-13 margin to clinch the gold medal from the women's kabaddi final.Published 09 Dec 2019, 17:46 IST