PVL 2023: Kolkata Thunderbolts beats Ahmedabad Defenders to set up semifinal clash with Bengaluru

PVL 2023’s final league fixture saw Kolkata Thunderbolts beat Ahmedabad Defenders in a four-setter to set up a semifinal clash with Bengaluru Torpedoes, while Defenders will be up against Calicut Heroes.

Published : Mar 02, 2023 22:10 IST , KOCHI

Kolkata Thunderbolts players celebrate after scoring point.
Kolkata Thunderbolts players celebrate after scoring point. | Photo Credit: PVL

Kolkata Thunderbolts players celebrate after scoring point. | Photo Credit: PVL

In what was a rematch of the season one final, Kolkata Thunderbolts defeated Ahmedabad Defenders 15-7, 15-4, 15-13, 8-15, 11-15 in the final league fixture of the second edition of the Prime Volleyball League at the Rajiv Gandhi Indoor Stadium here on Thursday. 

Kolkata’s Vinit Kumar Choudhary led the scoring card with 12 points earning player of the match award for his heroics.

Ashwal Rai deceived Ahmedabad with his crafty smashes early on. However, after two quick points, the defending champion failed to block Nandagopal Subramaniyam’s attack. Rai’s straight service caught Ahmedabad’s Danial Moatazedi by surprise with the Iranian crouching down erroneously.

The resultant super serve was complemented by a successful review by Choudhary. Soon after, Thunderbolts’ libero Hari Prasad stepped in with an important save but Cody Caldwell failed to read the ball and complete the return. Defenders’ skipper Appavu Muthusamy ended the first set after he landed the ball outside the court.

Kolkata’s early lead set the tone for the game. While AR Rahman’s hit number ‘ muqabla‘ reverberated throughout the stadium during the technical time-out, it was a rather one-sided contest in the second set as Kolkata trumped Ahmedabad 15-4.

Daniel got the match’s first yellow card as he spoke to the server Angamuthu Ramaswamy while the universal was to serve. Ahmedabad looked on the backfoot for a large of this encounter. Rai’s proficiency in maximising his serve only piled on the agony for the Defenders as they conceded the third set 15-13 and consequently the match.

With the game in the bag, Thunderbolts subbed out most of their star players. This allowed Ahmedabad room to find their feet with the men in black sealing the next two sets in their favour. Errors from Kolkata’s usual non-starters were unsurprising.

The win and loss makes no difference to the teams as the Thunderbolts and Defenders finish the league stage of PVL 2023 as the top two teams. However, this game fixed the semifinal line-up with the Thunderbolts facing Bengaluru Torpedoes on Friday while Defenders will take on Calicut Heroes on Saturday.

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