A brilliant second-half performance saw India stage a memorable comeback as they beat Iran 38-29 in the title clash to lift the 2016 Kabaddi World Cup in Ahmedabad on Saturday night.
Riding on a terrific performance by Ajay Thakur's 12 points, India produced a strong comeback at the TransStadia Arena to send the packed crowd into raptures.
The final was like a boxing bout as both teams -- considered kabaddi powerhouses -- traded punches and gave it as good as they got.
India struck the early blows as Sandeep Narwal and Thakur scored raid points to lead 2-0 in the third minute. Meraj Sheykh scored Iran's first point as they levelled the game at 2-2 in the fourth minute.
Iran's defence were up for it as they contained Pardeep Narwal effectively and then sent Thakur to the bench to lead 5-4 in the eighth minute.
The match lived up to its expectations as both teams fought hard and refused to give an inch. Skipper Anup Kumar scored his trademark bonus point to level the scores at 6-6 in the 10th minute. Meraj Sheykh scored with an excellent raid and reduced India to just three men as Iran led 9-7 in the 13th minute.
India's defence had a below-par first 15 minutes as they scored just one tackle point. Iran reduced India to just two men but a brilliant super tackle by Mohit Chhillar the 16th minute to cut the lead to just one point again.