|December 14, 1998||
India move closer to kabbadi gold
Harpal Singh Bedi in Bangkok
Defending champion India moved a step closer to retaining the gold as they humbled neighbouring Himalayan kingdom Nepal 57-40 to record their third win in as many matches in the kabbadi competition at the 13th Asiad in Bangkok on Monday.
The winners, who yesterday defeated Pakistan and Bangladesh, led 37-21 at half time against Nepal this morning.
An overconfident and complacent Indian defence gave away many a point to their rivals in a match which otherwise was an one-sided affair.
The Indians raced to a 15-1 lead in no time as the match started. The coaches S P Singh and Ashan Kumar decided to rest their main players at this stage. After five minutes Sanjeev Kumar was replaced, as was B C Ramesh shortly thereafter.
Sanjeev collected four points and Ramesh three points for their team before being rested.
The Nepal defence was very weak and their attackers were also lacking in tactics. It was only the loose Indian defence which gave away many a touch point.
After the match, S P Singh said that it was a one-sided affair "But our players became too complacent and the defence conceded some points."
The indians were in the lead from the very start and Shamsher Singh, Virender Kumar and Ranbir Singh, who came in place of Sanjeev Kumar, BC Ramesh and Ram Meher Singh performed creditably.
Nepal never posed any threat to the defending champion and the Indian players collected points at will without straining themselves.
"It was an easy win. We were far superior to Nepal in all departments of the game," Singh said after the match.
Mail Prem Panicker
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