New Delhi: Indian eves registered their first-ever Level 1 victory at the FIBA Asia Championship for Women when they secured a nail-biting win over Kazakhstan in Bangkok on Thursday.
In a pulsating match that went into overtime, India staved off a stiff challenge from Kazakh girls before prevailing over 65-62 in their final preliminary round fixture.
India looked strong from the start, taking an 11 point lead at half time. However, Kazakhstan fought back in the third quarter tying the game at 45 points.
The fourth quarter saw India take a two point lead on Anitha Pauldurai`s jumper with 8 seconds on the clock but they fouled Kazakhstan who proceeded to make both their free throws to tie the game at 55 points at the end of regulation time.
Anitha`s 18 points and an equally good performance by Jeena Skaria (14) saw India through.
Oxana Ivanova (16), Anastassiya Alishakaite (14) and Anna Vinokurova (14) were the top-scorers for Kazakhstan.
India will take on Indonesia in the relegation match on November 2.
India had lost their earlier four matches against Chinese Taipei 57-85, Korea (62-109), China (36-97) and Japan (40-81).
India are currently placed 5th in Level 1 with 6 points.
The competition is the qualifying tournament for FIBA Asia at the 2014 FIBA World Championship for Women in Turkey.
Preliminary Round result (India):
India (Anitha Pauldurai 18, Jeena Skaria 14) beat Kazakhstan (Oxana Ivanova 16, Anastassiya Alishauskaite 14, Anna Vinokurova 14) 65-62 (16-14, 19-10, 10-21, 10-10, OT: 10-7).