Tamil Thalaivas’ captain and Elite Retained Player Ajay Thakur led from the front and continued his fine form from Season 5 of VIVO Pro Kabaddi to get India their first win in Kabaddi Masters Dubai 2018 as they beat contenders Pakistan 36-20 at the Al Wasl Sports Club, Dubai on Friday. The Indian defence looked impenetrable, while Thakur and Bengaluru Bulls’ Rohit Kumar picked up points at will to help India get their campaign off to a winning start.

The game stayed even in the first few minutes with Ajay Thakur scoring consistently for India. India had a slender four-point lead in the 13th minute with the scores at 9-5, but an All Out courtesy a Rohit Kumar raid put India firmly ahead.

They capitalised on that lead from there and backed up Thakur’s efforts with some superb defending to take a huge 22-9 lead at half time.

The second half saw India piling on the misery as their defence, consisting of Haryana Steelers’ corner Surender Nada, Jaipur Pink Panthers’ new recruit Mohit Chhillar, Bengal Warrior’s defensive mainstay Surjeet Singh and another Jaipur Pink Panthers star, Deepak Hooda, kept the Pakistan raiders from scoring.

Pakistan fought back through Mudassar Ali, whose super tackle gave India a bit of a scare. But the Indian defenders rallied hard, and a brilliant tackle to send back Ibrar Hussain all but sealed the game in their favour with the score on 30-13.

Pakistan pulled the game back a little with Super Tackles on Rohit Kumar and Rahul Chaudhari, but the point difference was too much for them in the end and they ended up losing 36-20.

India will now face Kenya on Saturday, 23rd of June at 9pm IST, while Pakistan will try to get their first points of the campaign against Kenya on Sunday, 24th of June.