Seven time champions India remain unbeaten at the ongoing Asian Kabaddi Championship 2023 and with their recent win over Iran in the semis, are now through to the final of the tournament currently taking place in Seoul, South Korea.
On day three, India clinched a 33-28 win over Iran in their semifinal outing, with their superb raiding unit of Pawan Sehrawat, Arjun Deshwal and Aslam Inamdar, taking them into a 10-point lead halfway into the game.
Known for their defensive capabilities in kabaddi, Iran didn’t show much resistance at first, but shined on the third raid along with super tackles to close the gap with India before taking the lead, setting India trailing behind for the first time in this edition of the tournament.
Aside from raiding, Pawan also operated in defense with a super 10 and a haul of 16 points in total. Nitesh Kumar showed impressive defending with double thigh blocks and ankle holds in the right corner with supports from Arjun and Parvesh Bhainswal.
Alirezza and Haiderali Ekrami were tasked with the raiding duties for Iran. However, the team’s star left corner Mohammadreza Shadloui Chiyaneh did not meet up to the expectations, failing to contain Pawan during raids.
With two minutes left, Iran was able to reduce the trail to just 2 points, with the result expected to go in anyone’s favour at any moment. However, it was Nitesh and his amazing takedown on Alirezza which earned India two points courtesy a super tackle, earning them the win and the berth in the final.
So far, Iran was India’s closest game in the tournament. Prior to that, India managed to dominate both the hosts South Korea as well as Chinese Taipei 76-13 and 53-19 respectively. Their summit clash will take place against the winner of the Iran vs Japan match on Friday.