0530 GMT September 23, 2019
The Iranian outfit, who had thrashed Thailand 64-23 in their second group stage fixture on October 9, tried hard on Tuesday evening to squeeze out a 33-28 win at the iconic stadium, The Arena by TransStadia, in the western Indian city of Ahmedabad.
The Persians got off to a fine start, and quickly took a 3-0 lead over the East Africans within the first three minutes. The Kenyans then struggled to tally points, and David Mosambayi put in a tackle to earn the opening point for his side.
In the sixth minute, Iran’s Mohammadtaghi Paeinmahalli carried out a two-point raid and put his team 6-1 ahead. Mosambayi subsequently executed a super tackle and helped Kenya trail 4-7 behind Iran.
The Iranian team was leading 14-7 a quarter into the match as its defense was not allowing Kenyan raiders, particularly Mosambayi, to penetrate. Even though the first half was a fairly tight contest, Iran managed to claim it 19-10.
The Iranian kabaddi players continued to overwhelm their Kenyan opponents as the match extended into the second half. It was in the 30th minute that Mosambayi scored a raid point and narrowed Kenya’s deficit to 18-23.
The East Africans went on accumulating points and tailing Persians afterwards. Iran's Saeed Ghaffari scored two points with a brilliant raid at last and sealed Iran’s 31-28 triumph.
The Iranians will face counterparts from Japan in their fourth match on Saturday.
The 2016 Kabaddi World Cup began in Ahmedabad on October 7 and will finish on October 22.
Iran is pitted against the United States, Poland, Kenya, Thailand and Japan in Pool B, while India, Bangladesh, England, Australia, South Korea and Argentina form Pool A.
Kabaddi is the national game of Bangladesh and also the state game of the Indian states of Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Bihar, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Punjab.
India has the most successful Kabaddi team on the world stage, having won every world cup and Asian games title so far, in both men’s and women’s categories.