Sri Lanka and India open strongly at AVC Central Zonal Men’s Qualification Tournament
Colombo, Sri Lanka, July 3, 2003 - Host Sri Lanka and India have booked their first straight set victory over the Maldives and Pakistan at the Sugathadasa Indoor Stadium on Wednesday on the first day of the AVC Central Zone Pool 2 Men’s Qualification Tournament for the 2014 Volleyball World Championship.
The four teams are fighting two berths from this tournament to the 16-team final round to be held in September. The draw for the final round will be made after the conclusion of all Asian zonal rounds.
Before a large crowd of 2,500 home supporters, Sri Lanka fielded a well-established line-up to outclass the Maldives with a score of 25-20, 25-12, 25-23 in 70 minutes.
Led by the powerful hitter S.A.J.Surath, Sri Lanka fared much better thanks to Surath’s lightning spikes and powerful serves. Surath is the best scorer for the host team with 13 points including 10 spikes and three serves. Sri Lanka also had a good team combination with eight players all scoring points while the Maldives relied heavily on one player, Ismail Sajid. Sajid who was the best scorer of the match with a high of 23 points got very little help from his teammates during the match. They also made a total of 28 errors compared with 16 by Sri Lanka.
In the second game, India (ranked 30th in the world; sixth place finish at 2011 Asian Men’s Volleyball Championship) did not face a great challenge from their rivals Pakistan (ranked 41 in the world; seventh place finish at the Asian Men’s Championship). India took 72 minutes to beat Pakistan in straight sets 25-21, 25-20, 25-21.
India got off to a
flying start in the first set. S. Prabagarane’s attacks and well-placed serves
helped India take the opening set 25-21. Pakistan tried hard to
fight back in the second set. Ahmed Nasser and Ali Abbas, who collected 11
and 10 points respectively, combined well to hit hard at their opponents
defence. But their efforts were to no avail. India clinched the
second set 25-20 and leading 2-0, played a more relaxed and confident game. Pakistan on
the other hand became more prone to unforced attacking mistakes, making 29
errors in the match, 10 more than India. India grabbed the chance to
win the set 25-21 and the match.