HYDERABAD: The Kolkata Thunderbolts skipper Ashwal Rai produced a fabulous performance to help his team record a thrilling 3-2 win over Calicut Heroes in the third match of the RuPay Prime Volleyball League at the Gachibowli Indoor Stadium in Hyderabad on Monday. Kolkata Thunderbolts took down Calicut Heroes 15-13, 12-15, 15-10, 12-15, 15-13. Kolkata picked up two points from this match. Kolkata Thunderbolts’ Ashwal Rai was adjudged the Player of the Match.
Skipper Ashwal Rai got the Kolkata Thunderbolts off to a strong start as the side took the lead at 5-2. Moments later, Aravindhan S coolly tapped the ball over the net and Kolkata continued to control the proceedings at 6-4. Jerome Vinith tried to keep the Calicut Heroes in the contest but Ashwal kept producing superb spikes which helped Kolkata close out the first set at 15-13.
The Thunderbolts continued to dominate in the second set as well, taking the lead through a fantastic spike at 8-6. However, Calicut gained the momentum after winning a crucial Super Point and took a three-point lead at 12-9. Fabulous spikes by Vinith and Ajithlal C helped the Heroes win the second set 15-12 and get on the board.
Rahul lit up the stage with a brilliant spike and helped Kolkata take the lead at 5-4 in the third set, however, the Heroes levelled the scores soon after. Both sides kept winning points in tandem until a fantastic block by Mohamed Riyazudeen and a spike by Ashwal helped Kolkata take the lead at 12-9. Moments later, the Thunderbolts won a crucial Super Point and eventually took a 2-1 lead in the match. Vignesh Raj D and Ajithlal produced some brilliant spikes as Calicut attained a massive lead at 8-3 in the fourth set. The Heroes rode on the momentum and clinched the fourth set 15-12 to make it two sets all.
The Heroes and the Thunderbolts played out a neck-to-neck contest until 4-4 in the fifth set, however, a superb block by Calicut helped the team gain the momentum and take a three-point lead at 7-4. But, Ashwal kept Kolkata’s hopes alive by helping his team level the scores at 12-12. The Kolkata skipper finished with a fantastic spike to take his team to a thrilling victory.
The Bengaluru Torpedoes will be up against the Kochi Blue Spikers at the Gachibowli Indoor Stadium in the fourth match of the RuPay Prime Volleyball League in Hyderabad at 1900 hrs IST on Tuesday, 08 February 2022.