India beat Thailand 73-20 in Kabaddi World Cup semi-final, face Iran in the final

India convincingly beat Thailand 73-20 in the semi-final of the Kabaddi World Cup in Ahmedabad. Will face Iran in the final.

By: Express Web Desk | Updated: October 22, 2016 9:42 am
India made no errors in dismantling Thailand in the semi-final.

In what will be a repeat of the Kabaddi World Cup final, India will take on Iran in the eventual contest in Ahmedabad on Saturday after the hosts easily disposed off Thailand by a massive 73-20 margin. The harrowing win was made even better in the second half where India went 18 straight points without conceding.

Against a young Thailand side, the stalwarts of kabaddi left little room for error with Pardeep Narwal notching up the most points (14). Giving him good company was Ajay Thakur who picked up 11 points. Off the bench, Nitin Tomar did an excellent job to score seven points.

Read our complete report on India’s passage into the final courtesy our man Shahid Judge in Ahmedabad.

Earlier in the day, Iran got the better of Korea who so far remained unbeaten in the tournament.

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Build Up
Players to watch out for in semi-finals

The third Kabaddi World Cup reaches its playoff stage with hosts India playing Thailand for a spot in the final, and powerhouses Iran playing South Korea. Ahead of the semi-finals on Friday, the Indian Express lines up the key players from each of the last four.
Pardeep Narwal (Raider)

Just a year ago, Pardeep Narwal was an unknown name in most kabaddi circles. Yet after two stellar seasons for the Patna Pirates in the Pro Kabaddi League – which saw the franchise win successive titles – the 19-year-old booked his spot in the World Cup team. Even during the opening game upset against the Koreans, the teenager – then a substitute – provided glimpses of his talent. Since then, he’s been a starter and key scorer for the hosts, relegating the sport’s poster boy Rahul Chaudhari to the bench.
Surjeet (Defender)
The cover defender had a forgetful start to the tournament in the opener against the Koreans. After that however, the services player has provided a mixture of daring tenacity and cautious maturity. His coveted dash tackles have been timed to perfection, and executed with frightening power. Just ask the English. His work rate has made the Indian defence even stronger, with the likes of Manjeet Chillar and Dharmaraj Cheralathan too manning the ranks.

Khomsan Thongkham (Raider)

While most captains prefer to stay on the mat for the maximum time and hence opt out of continuously stepping up for raids, the Thai skipper Khomsan Thongkham works with a different mind-set. The 24-year-old is captain to the youngest team competing among the 12 present at the World Cup, and he serves as his country’s prime raider. In the crucial game against Japan, the six-footer stepped up to raid 23 times, remaining unsuccessful just six times. His reach is his biggest attribute, along with his athleticism and deceiving strength.

Khunakon Chanjaroen (All-Rounder)
So far, the 21-year-old is the only player in the tournament to have picked up a Super 10 while raiding and a High Five for defending – all in the same match. On that occasion, Chanjaroen helped his country to a comprehensive win against Poland. An agile raider with the ability to step up whenever his skipper is not on the mat, the youngster is a mindful tackler with the tendency of making timely challenges, and even providing support tackles for his teammates.

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So the winner of India and Thailand will face Iran in the final on Saturday night. Korea’s winning run ends in the semis with Iran winning by a slender 28-22 margin.

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The teams are out:

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lost to South Korea 32-34
beat Australia 54-20
beat Bangladesh 57-20
beat Argentina 74-20
beat England 69-18

lost to Iran: 23-64
beat Poland: 65-25
beat Kenya: 53-21
beat USA: 69-22
beat Japan: 37-33

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And now INDIA!

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India have won the toss and opted for the side. Thailand will raid first

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Phonchoo is first up from Thailand but he goes back with an empty raid. For India it is Anup Kumar with the first raid attempt and he comes back with a bonus point. India open the account 1-0

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And Pardeep Narwal with a successful raid as well. Adds to India’s advantage. In reply, India defend as a unit to keep Thailand bank in a do-or-die raid. Thailand continue to draw blank as Ajay Thakur comes back with a point

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Cricketer Irfan Pathan in the attendance too. Surely he’s hoping for an India win tonight and tomorrow.

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Khomsan Thongkham gets the first touch point for Thailand and they open their account. India still lead 7-1

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ALL OUT! India get the first all out of the contest with Pardeep Narwal successfully raiding and getting more points to India’s tally.

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Phuwanai Wannasaen gets a successful raid after Anup Kumar goes for an ankle hold but can’t get enough body behind it to keep hold of the Thai player. India still in a strong position at 16-3

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Pardeep Narwal with lovely backtracking skills to touch a Thai shirt and then back peddles towards his side of the court.

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Second all out on Thailand after a strong defensive hold by India. India lead by a convincing 23-3 margin with under eight minutes to go in the half

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Chanwit Wichian with a successful two point raid for Thailand. Gets touch over two Indian players and after some deliberation between the referees, Anup Kumar sits down too.

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SUPER RAID! First super raid of the semi-final comes courtesy Pardeep Narwal. Sheer power and quick movement to deflect the challenges and then get three points!

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ALL OUT! Immediately after that, India get the third all out of the night. Santi Bunchoet’s attempt at a raid fails and India are in supreme control at 34-7

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Under 30 seconds to go and India are in a big, big 35-7 lead as we approach the break after the first half

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The job is half complete for India tonight. India lead 36-8 at half time with 22 raid points and 8 tackle points. Thailand with 7 raid points and 1 tackle point

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Superb start for the second half for India. India inflict the fourth all out of the match within a minute of the second half. Ajay Thakur opens account with two points and then three points!

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Another change for India: PARDEEP NARWAL (IN), AJAY THAKUR (OUT)

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Rahul Chaudhari with fantastic ankle hold to keep Thailand player in India’s side of the court. And that’s another all out on Thailand. India are 51-8 up and 15 points straight for the hosts without conceding one

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Pardeep Narwal with a super raid to get a touch and then a boot to the face on a Thai player before he comes back to his side. India lead 54-8

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Chanwit Wichian breaks Thailand’s duck in the half by getting a touch point on Anup Kumar but India still with a confident 55-10 lead

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SUPER RAID BY Nitin Tomar. One touch, two touch and then another and he uses the lobby area to stay inside the court and touch the center line. India 58-10

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Do-or-die raid for Thailand and it doesn’t come good. Nitin Tomar quickly runs into the other side and finishes the job. That’s ALL OUT number six tonight by India and the gap extends to 62-10

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The bench doing the job for India in the final stages of this semi-final. The lead is enough to give youngsters and the substitutes time to test themselves and they’re doing a good job. With three minutes to go, India up 69-14

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Just over a minute to go into the contest and India are leading 70-18 after a touch point by Santi Bunchoet reduces the gap.