Bathinda (Punjab) : A spirited Canada pulled off a surprise win over Pakistan to set up a clash with hosts India in the finals of the second World Cup Kabaddi to be played at Ludhiana Sunday.
India reached the finals of the 20-day tournament easily, defeating the Italian team 74-15 in their semi-final match played at the flood-lit multi-purpose stadium here Friday evening.
But the big upset was in the second semi-final match between Pakistan and Canada late Friday. The Canadian side finally won 44-39 in a closely fought match.
The aggressive Canadian side kept up the pressure on the Pakistani side all through the game with both teams locked in a neck and neck fight. At half time, both teams were at 20-20 points.
The Pakistani side, which was the runners up in the first edition of the tournament last year, was expected to reach the finals this time also but the Canadian side, which also comprised Punjabi-origin youth settled in the country, got the better of them.
The final match of the men’s Kabaddi, in which the winner team takes home the prize money of Rs.2 crore and the runner-up takes Rs.1 crore, will be played at industrial city Ludhiana’s Guru Nanak Dev stadium Sunday evening.
In the women’s section, in which four teams are participating for the first time, hosts India trounced the US team 57-7 in the last league match Friday evening.
Both teams have already reached the finals of the women’s event. The finals will also be played in Ludhiana Sunday.
The India women’s team overcame the trauma of Thursday evening’s accident in which their team bus caught fire in an accident with an Army truck near Bathinda town.
The drivers of the bus and a Punjab Police gypsy piloting the bus were killed in the accident.
Some of the women team members also received injuries and burns in the incident as people broke the bus window-panes to rescue them.