Holders Bangladesh defeated Iraq by 49-33 points to emerge Group A champions in the Bangabandhu Cup 2023 International Kabaddi Tournament at the Shaheed Noor Hossain Volleyball Stadium in Dhaka on Saturday, reports news agency UNB.
Bangladesh ended the group-stage undefeated, winning all five of their Group A matches. They will now take on the Group B runners up in the first semifinal at 4:00pm on Monday.
Formidable Iraq took the court on Saturday afternoon with three back to back wins, but conceded their first defeat of the meet against hosts Bangladesh.
However, they are still in the semifinal race with six points from four matches and will play England in the remaining Group A match on Sunday for a chance to book a semifinal berth.
On Saturday’s match, Bangladesh had a slow start but gradually regained the rhythm with overall teamwork.
After some good back and forth in the first five minutes, Bangladesh inflicted the first Lona (all out) in the sixth minute.
Experienced raider Arduzzaman initiated efficient attacks while Tuhin Tarafder and Mizanur Rahman were wily in their raids.
Iraq skipper Sabir Aloi Sari caused some headache for the Bangladesh defence with his height and extra reach.
In the 16th minute, Bangladesh was reduced to three against Iraq’s seven. But a super raid from Mizanur saw three Iraqi players out and three Bangladesh players back into the court.
Bangladesh led the first half by 28-13 point. After the change of ends, Bangladesh concentrated upon maintaining the lead with cautious approach.
Iraq tried hard but failed to overcome the deficit.
Tuhin and Arduzzaman scored nine points each. But Tuhin was adjudged the player of the match and won a cash prize of Tk 10000.
In the day’s other match, Chinese Taipei took a solo lead in Group B, beating all losers Malaysia by 79-34 points at the same venue on Saturday.
Chen Chi Chih Chang was adjudged player of the match.
With the day’s well deserved victory, Chinese Taipei completed their Group B campaign in the top slot securing eight points from all the five group encounters.
Group B teams Sri Lanka and Thailand are fighting for the runners-up spot as both are sitting on six points with one match in hand.