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India lift Kabaddi World Cup
Beat Pak in final, Canada finish third
Anil Datt

Ludhiana, April 12
Hosts India faced little resistance from their traditional rivals Pakistan as they scripted an easy win (58-24) in the final of the inaugural edition of the Pearls World Cup Kabaddi which concluded at Guru Nanak Stadium here today.

India, instantly raced to a seven point lead as their star performers, captain Mangat Singh Mangi and his deputy Hardawinder Singh Dulla along with Sandeep Singh Surkhpuria exhibited great skills and determination to nail down their rivals from across the border.

The home team continued same momentum to further consolidate the lead to 26-12 at the breather. Pakistan players failed to cope up with the superb techniques and excellent stamina showcased by Indian players and finally buckled under pressure to lose the summit clash without waging a semblance of fight.

For the winners, Mangat and Sandeep Surkhpuria secured the maximum points while Pakistanís Imtiaz Alam, Shafqat Ahmed and Babbar Gujjar fought for each point. Earlier, the match to decide the third and fourth positions, played between Canada and Italy too turned out to be a mismatch as the former romped home victors without being challenged. Canada won the verdict 69-22.

The winners had established a comprehensive 24 points lead (34-10) at half time, went on to cement it further to finish. The main architects of Canada's win were Kuljit Singh Malsihan who raided 17 times and secured as many points while stopper, Sandeep Singh Lallian collected five valuable points to anchor their team to a comfortable victory.

The winners pocketed a cash prize of Rs 1 crore along with a glittering trophy while the runners up got richer by Rs 51 lakh. The third and fourth placed teams received cash prize of Rs 25 lakh and Rs 10 lakh respectively.

Besides, the remaining five teams namely Spain, Australia, Iran, America and United Kingdom too had their hands full as they received cash prize of Rs 5 lakh each. In addition, the best raider and the best stopper were also awarded. India's skipper, Mangat Singh Mangi was declared the best stopper while Kuljit Singh Malsihan of Canada was adjudged the best raider. Both were given tractors. Punjab Chief Minister, Parkash Singh Badal distributed the prizes.

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