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India started their Kabaddi Masters campaign in style as they crushed arch-rivals Pakistan 36-20 in the inaugural match of the six-nation international tournament. Captain Ajay Thakur led from the front and scored 10 points to help India register a convincing victory. India’s defenders put in a commanding performance as they restricted Pakistan’s raiders throughout the match. Pakistan could score just 9 raid and 8 tackle points in the match. Mudassar Ali scored six raid points for Pakistan. For India, Rohit Kumar put in a solid raiding performance and scored seven points.
Ajay Thakur got India up and running with a raid point in the first minute. Pakistan opened their account with a bonus point as both teams were level at 1-1. India’s star raider Pardeep Narwal was sent to the bench by Pakistan defence in the fourth minute. Thakur was looking in fine form as he scored with two successive raids to give India 4-3 lead after seven minutes. Pakistan's defence looked sharp in the first 10 minutes of the match as they trailed 4-5 after the ninth minute. Mudassar Ali scored with a raid for Pakistan as they trailed 5-6 after 10 minutes.
A successful review call in the 13th minute helped Pakistan avoid an all out and they trailed 7-9. However, India were sharp on the mat and Rohit Kumar scored a raid point in the 15th minute as India inflicted an all out in the same minute to lead 14-8. India extended their lead by nine points to lead 17-8 after 17 minutes. India ended the first half on a strong note as they scored seven straight points to lead 22-9. Ajay Thakur led the scoring charts for India in the first half with 5 raid points.
India began the second half with a bang as they inflicted an all out in the 21st minute to lead 25-9. Pakistan scored a tackle point with Nasir Ali in the 23rd minute as Pakistan trailed 10-27. Mudassar Ali followed it with the first super raid of the match to cut the deficit to 14 points. It was smooth sailing for India in the second half as they led 3013 after 28 minutes.
With less than 10 minutes to go, India had opened up a 16-point gap as they led 31-15. Pakistan forced a super tackle in the 34th minute to trail 17-33. Another super tackle by Pakistan in the 37th minute reduced the gap to 15 points as they trailed 19-34. A tackle point in the last minute gave India a 16-point lead as they beat Pakistan 36-20.