ISLAMABAD: Players in action during the Central Asian Volleyball Championship match between Pakistan and Kyrgyzstan at the Pakistan Sports Complex on Wednesday.—Tanveer Shahzad/White Star
ISLAMABAD: Players in action during the Central Asian Volleyball Championship match between Pakistan and Kyrgyzstan at the Pakistan Sports Complex on Wednesday.—Tanveer Shahzad/White Star

ISLAMABAD: Pakis­tan’s volleyball team stretched their unbeaten run to four games as they thrashed Kyrg­y­zstan 3-0 (25-18, 27-25, 27-25) in the Central Asian Volle­y­ball Championship here at the Liaquat Gymn­asium of the Pakistan Sports Complex on Wednesday.

With their fourth successive win in the tournament, the national team all but ensured their spot in the final.

Pakistan claimed the first set rather comfortably but the visiting team’s aggressive showing in the following sets made the fixture a bit tricky. The national team reciprocated the visitors’ aggression and with brilliant teamwork and determination prevailed after a hard fought battle.

Led by Murad Jehan, the hosts are now poised to reach the final, having already defe­ated Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, and Turkmenistan.

In the day’s other match, Iran suffered their second consecutive defeat in the event as Sri Lanka stunned the favourites 3-0 (25-22, 25-17, 25-21).

Iran, the Asian champion, is fielding a second-tier team as most of its top players are engaged in foreign leagues.

Meanwhile, Turkmenistan overcame Afghanistan 3-1 (18-25, 33-31, 25-17, 25-17) in a thrilling encounter.

The second finalist will be decided after Thursday’s mat­c­hes, with Turkmenistan and Iran having won two matches each.

Published in Dawn, May 16th, 2024

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