Karnataka Bulls prevailed over Kerala Killers 23-25, 25-19, 27-25, 21-25, 16-14 in a pulsating 110-minute match, with universal Sanjay Kumar coming up with his best at crucial stages, in the Yanam leg of the Indian Volley League at the Dr. YSR International Indoor Stadium here on Monday evening.
Earlier, Hyderabad Chargers, with its captain M. Ukkarapandian playing for the entire duration for the first time in the league, beat Maratha Warriors 24-20, 21-14, 25-16 in 68 minutes.
The Bulls-Killers match was a treat to watch with the lead changing hands often. The two sides won alternate sets before the match was settled in the decider.
In the fifth set, Bulls surged ahead 5-1 before Killers rallied to level 6-6. It kept itself ahead by one point before Sanjay won a few points with some telling smashes.
With the score tied at 14, Sanjay sent in a blistering smash and Bulls won when Killers messed up with its receiving.
Ukkarapandian made a big impact in his first full game. With Gurinder Singh complementing him well, Warriors could do little against Ukkarapandian's serve.
Chargers was good in all areas and often its spikers found huge gaps in the rival court. Inadequate blocks by Warriors also fetched some points.
Warriors, already at a disadvantage with the injury to Guruchand Singh, found itself in deeper trouble when Aziz injured his left ankle while landing after a jump.
Coach Devidas Jadhav hoped the injury was not a serious one.
Spikers beats Tigers
Yanam Tigers went down to Chennai Spikers 1-3 in an exciting match. Spikers won 20-25, 25-20, 28-25, 27-25 to remain on top of the table.
Yanam won the first set, but Spikers rallied to take the next two.
Th host made a splendid recovery in the fourth, levelling at 18 after trailing 11-17. It went on to lead 24-23, but an error in blocking helped Chennai make it 24-24. It was 25-all before Chennai won the next two points to clinch the issue.
The results: Hyderabad Chargers bt Maratha Warriors 25-21, 25-17, 25-16; Karnataka Bulls bt Kerala Killers 23-25, 25-19, 27-25, 21-25, 16-14; Chennai Spikers bt Yanam Tigers 20-25, 25-20, 28-25, 27-25.
Keywords: Indian Volley League