Thunderbolts came from behind to register a strong comeback win with score line of 12-15, 15-6, 12-15, 15-11, 15-11 over the Mumbai Meteors in the second season of the RuPay Prime Volleyball League powered by A23 at the Gachibowli Indoor Stadium in Hyderabad on 20th February 2023. Ashwal Rai was named the Player of the contest for his all-round display.
Speaking after the match, captain and middle-blocker said, “The team performed exceptionally well. We defended well and therefore the results went in our sfavour. We learned from our mistakes and executed them perfectly, which helped us in improving our strategy and our game’s overall show. We will perform better in our next game.”
Janshad and skipper Ashwal Rai combined to take control over Kolkata’s middle line after Mumbai’s Hiroshi Centelles showcased aggressive intentions from the service. When Rahul started serving the ball for the Thunderbolts, the momentum shifted completely in the Thunderbolts’ favour.
With captain Karthik leading Mumbai’sdefence line, and Shameem creating attacking opportunities, Mumbai quickly levelled things. Changing strategies, Kolkata employed a two-man block line of Ashwal and Rahul, and suddenly the door was shut on Mumbai’s attacks. Mumbai remained high on energy but kept making errors. Cody Caldwell’s ferocious spikes became a cause of concern for Mumbai.
Just when it looked Kolkata will win the match comfortbaly, Shameem’s super serve tilted balance again. But Ashwal and Rahul’s block line once again shut down Mumbai’s attackers and Kolkata once again levelled the playing field to push the match right down to the wire.
Skipper Ashwal led from the front to make an impact in the final set and he shut down Hiroshi with a powerful block. Mumbai made a few unforced errors and then a cold-blooded spike from Vinit further hurt the Meteors, on the back of which Kolkata went on to win the match 3-2 to regain the top position in the table.