A stirring performance from Imtiaz Ahmed took South Western Railway to victory against BSNL 29-31, 25-18, 28-26, 25-22 in a Karnataka State senior ‘A’ division league match at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium grounds here on Thursday.

Imtiaz, a former India junior international, starred with his powerful smashes and swerving serves which bailed his team out at many crucial junctures in the match.

BSNL did remain in contention throughout the match, but lacked the authoritative finishing that Imitiaz provided for SWR.

For BSNL, former India junior team captain Ravi Kumar lifted his team with the odd towering smash, but it proved too little as his team slipped to its first defeat in the three matches played. SWR registered its second victory in three games.

The league, meanwhile, has seen a spate of walkovers since its start on September 24. Jindal Steel Works, CIL and Alva’s Moodbidri have stayed away from the league for reasons which range from unavailability of players to players having to appear for exams. All three teams have been scratched from the tournament, according to K. Nandakumar, General Secretary of Karnataka Volleyball.

The results: ‘A’ division: SWR bt BSNL 29-31, 25-18, 28-26, 25-22.

‘B’ division: Rao Friends bt SVYC 25-11, 27-25.

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