The India national kabaddi team laid down the marker with a dominant 49-16 victory over Sri Lanka in their opening match of the 13th South Asian Games, 2019 at the APF Hall Halchowk in Kathmandu, Nepal on Thursday.
The Indian team started with captain Deepak Hooda, Pawan Sehrawat and Naveen Kumar in attack while in defence, it was Vishal Bhardwaj and Amit Hooda in the Corner positions and Gujarat Fortunegiants duo Sunil Kumar and Parvesh Bhainswal manning the Covers.
Sehrawat and Naveen got India off to the perfect start, helping them establish a substantial lead early in the match. Sri Lanka struggled to cope against a three-pronged raiding unit and India national kabaddi team’s defence too joined in on the action helping them build a 25-9 lead at half time.
Coach Ashan Kumar and Balwan Singh subbed in Right Corner Nitesh Kumar and raider Darshan Kadian and the duo showcased their class on the mat. Kadian was particularly impressive, picking up bonus points with ease and scoring points off his trusted Running Hand Touch, as the Indian side continued to pile on the points.
Having built a healthy lead, the Indian side adopted a more controlled approach in the final few minutes, opting to attack the opposition defence only in do-or-die raids. They gave away just seven points in the second half while scoring 21 themselves, winning the contest comfortably by a margin of 33 points.
In the next fixture, the India national kabaddi team are scheduled to play Pakistan, who will be looking to bounce back from their surprise loss to Sri Lanka in their inaugural kabaddi match of the 13th South Asian Games, 2019.
The women’s team, too, started their campaign on a dominant note as they upstaged Bangladesh 47-16 later in the day. On the preceding day, the women’s team had defeated Sri Lanka 53-14 in their opening match.