Thanks for tuning in to Sportstar's  LIVE coverage of the Prime Volleyball League 2022 semifinals between Kolkata Thunderbolts and Calicut Heroes. This was  Netra. V  taking you through the action as it unfurled. That's all for today, see you on Sunday!

RECAP: Birthday boy Vinit Kumar is presented with a gift as Kolkata Thunderbolts defeated Calicut Heroes 16-14, 15-10, 17-15 in a thrilling three setter semifinals of the Prime Volleyball League. The Thunderbolts will now face Ahmedabad Defenders on Sunday, who had previously won over Hyderabad Black Hawks 3-1 (15-13, 15-12, 9-15, 15-12) in the first semifinal.  Calicut lost their seven point lead to Kolkata in the third set as Ashwal Rai's team received consecutive points on super serves from Rahul K.

PVL 2022: Ahmedabad Defenders defeats Hyderabad Black Hawks to enter final  

Prime Volleyball PVL 2022 Semifinal 1 Highlights: Shon T John helps Ahmedabad Defenders enter the finals

PLAYER OF THE MATCH- Is the birthday boy Vinit Kumar , who shares his reward with setter Janshad.

Kolkata Thunderbolts to face Ahmedabad Defenders on Sunday, February 27.

REVIEW BY KOLKATA. REVIEW SUCCESSFUL AS DAVID LEE'S SHOULDER TOUCHES THE NET. KOLKATA THUNDERBOLTS THROUGH TO FINALS 16-14, 15-10, 17-15 !

16-14, 15-10, 16-15 Another match point for Kolkata, again by Matthew.

16-14, 15-10, 15-15 Calicut saves the match point. As scores level.

16-14, 15-10, 15-14 MATCH POINT FOR THUNDERBOLTS as Matthew spikes a contactless shot.

16-14, 15-10, 13-14 Brilliant play by both teams as the dig hard to rally but the Calicut blockers send the ball out.

16-14, 15-10, 12-13 A mistake for David, who blocks but the ball goes out.

16-14, 15-10, 11-13 SUPER POINT called by Calicut and they got it. Substitution for Calicut as Sachin comes in.

16-14, 15-10, 11-11 Yet again a SUPER SERVE FROM RAHUL AS HE HITS THE BALL RIGHT ON THE BACK LINE WITH NOONE RECEIVING IT.

16-14, 15-10, 9-11 Super Serve by Rahul as Kolkata closes the gap.

16-14, 15-10, 6-10 SUPER POINT called by Kolkata and Riyaz does it for the Thunderbolts and reduces the deficit by four points.

16-14, 15-10, 4-9 Vinit blocks Ajit Lal as the Calicut players are not able to retaliate.

16-14, 15-10, 2-9 Rahul hits it straight at Vignesh as the Calicut attacker isn't able to receive it.

16-14, 15-10, 1-8 A seven point lead as the Calicut Heroes strike the first blood in the third set in an attempt to make a comeback as the two teams take a technical time-out.

16-14, 15-10, 1-7 Anu James learns from his previous mistake and goes past the Calicut blockers to get Kolkata's first point of the third set.

16-14, 15-10, 0-7 Massive lead by Calicut Heroes. A six point. Strike that its a seven point lead.

16-14, 15-10, 0-4 Its Vinith vs Vinit as Jerome goes past Kolkata Universal Vinit Kumar.

16-14, 15-10, 0-3 Ajit Lal gets another point for Calicut by a super block.

16-14, 15-10, 0-1 A must win set from Calicut. Captain Jerome makes sure no mistake takes place.

SECOND SET

16-14, 15-10 Vinit wins the second set for Kolkata as the Thunderbolts need to win just one set to enter the finals against Ahmedabad Defenders.

16-14, 14-9 SUPER POINT TAKEN BY CALICUT. Matthew takes the super point as the Thunderbolts one point away from winning the second set.

16-14, 12-9 Setter Janshad assists Matthew August to take a point.

16-14, 11-8 Review taken by Kolkata. Review successful as Abil wrist slightly touches the net helping Kolkata take a three point lead.

16-14, 10-7 A striking spike from Rahul lands directly inside the line as Kolkata points at the place the ball landed.

16-14, 9-7 A super block from Matthew blocks for the Thunderbolts.

16-14, 8-7 Technical time-out taken as Kolkata leads by one point.

16-14, 6-4 Brilliant rally by both teams but Kolkata have the last laugh as the teams try their best to keep the ball off the ground.

16-14, 4-4 Calicut celebrates too soon as the birthday boy Vinit targets Ajit, who's unable to receive.

16-14, 2-3 Service faults from both teams. Not the right start that both the teams want.

FIRST SET

16-14 Kolkata wins the first set. Rahul turns the heat on as he aces his serve as the Calicut libero Ramanathan is unable to receive it.

Review called by Calicut.

15-14 Double block, but the spike error from Jerome Vinith.

14-14 A longer set as a difference of two points needed for a team to win the set. 

13-13 Kolkata captain Ashwal Rai  targets empty space as no one near the ball.

12-12 SUPER SERVE FOR MATTHEW. KOLKATA EQUALISES. MATTHEW GETS FOUR CONSECUTIVE POINTS FOR KOLKATA WITH A CONTACT LESS SUPER SERVE.

10-12 SUPER POINT FOR KOLKATA! Matthew spikes the ball in the empty space.

7-9 Olympian David Lee scores point for Calicut by tricking the opposition with a drop shot as the ball lands in the empty space.

7-8 Vinit deliberately aims for the blockers as the ball goes out.

6-8 Jerome gets back at Kolkata as the two teams head for technical time-out.

6-6 Vignesh makes a service mistake as Kolkata gets a point, but makes amends by getting the next point for Calicut.

4-4 Calicut Heroes captain Jerome Vinith spikes the ball as the Heroes equalises.

3-2 Birthday boy Vinit Kumar gets two points on trot as he spikes on the empty areas.

The LINE UPS ARE OUT!

No change for the Kolkata Thunderbolts, while Arun Zacharias comes in for Calicut Heroes.

 

Previous Clash:

Last time the two teams played against each other, Kolkata Thunderbolts scored a thrilling 15-13, 12-15, 15-10, 12-15, 15-13 win over Calicut Heroes.

It was a contest which saw the Kolkata outfit come up with a poor display in serving and owed its win to the spiking prowess of ‘player of the match’ and captain Ashwal Rai.

With Mohammad Riyazudeen and Aravindhan doing a splendid job as blockers, Ashwal had the liberty to come up with those telling spikes every time Kolkata was under some sort of pressure because of that weak link – serve.

For Calicut, which was without the services of Olympian David Lee, it was an outstanding display by the brilliant spiker C. Ajith Lal, who repeatedly split the rival defence with some stunning smashes. Getting solid support from Jerome Vinith, M.V. Sujan Lal, M.C. Mujeeb, K. Rahul at the net, Ajith was exceptional.

With the scores reading two-sets all, the final set saw lead change sides frequently and Calicut even led 11-8 at one stage only to fritter away the advantage as Ashwal rose to the occasion not just with his power and precision but touch too as once when he jumped up only to fake a spike with a roll of the wrists to stun the rival defence.

And, it was an anticlimax in the final moments with the scores tied 13-all, Ajith, who leapt in the air only to see his spike go out to the delight of Kolkata which eventually wrapped up the match with Ashwal giving the finishing touch.

- V.V. Subrahmanyam