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December 2, 2019

Pakistan whip BD to set up title showdown with India

Sports

December 2, 2019

KARACHI: Pakistan on Sunday thrashed Bangladesh 3-0 in the semi-final to set date with India in the final of the 13th South Asian Games men’s volleyball competitions in Tripureshwor Covered Hall in Kathmandu.

In the semi-finals, Pakistan did not let a comparatively weaker Bangladesh settle down at any stage of the game, overpowering them in straight sets with an enviable ease. The set score was 25-15, 25-21 and 26-24.

Meanwhile, in the other semi-final, India defeated a spirited Sri Lanka 3-1 with the set score being 27-25, 25-19, 21-25 and 25-21. Pakistan-India final will be held on Tuesday (tomorrow). On Monday (today), Sri Lanka will meet Bangladesh in the third position outing.

Pakistan had qualified for the semi-finals after beating Maldives and Sri Lanka comprehensively in their Group B league games. India, on the other hand, had defeated Nepal and Bangladesh in their Group A league matches to make it to the pre-final.

Pakistan have a good chance of beating India keeping in view the last year’s record of the Green-shirts over their neighbouring state. Pakistan had beaten India in the 2018 Asian Games in Indonesia before overwhelming them again in the Asian Championships in Iran recently to claim seventh position.

Pakistan Volleyball Federation’s (PVF) chairman Chaudhry Mohammad Yaqoob expects a good show from his squad against India in the final. “I would expect Pakistan to beat India,” Yaqoob told ‘The News’ after Pakistan’s semi-final victory over Bangladesh.

“Pakistan should play with full confidence against India as our players have better skills and capacity to beat India in the vital showdown,” Yaqoob said. Pakistan’s skipper Aimal Khan was also confident about beating India in the final.

“We are very much confident of beating India as we have a good team now,” Aimal told ‘The News’ from Kathmandu.

“We have worked very hard and there is no doubt that physically our team is very strong. But the plus point is that mentally too our boys are ready for the major title clash with India. Before the event the boys wanted to qualify for the final and win it and it is a chance for us to give good news to the nation,” the spiker said. He said that Pakistani players were at a position now that they wanted to play against India.

“There was a time when we considered India as strong side but now our team is so good that it is the desire of every boy to face India,” Aimal said, who also plays professional volleyball.

Pakistan last won gold in SAG way back in 1993 edition in Dhaka. The other gold Pakistan won in 1989 in Islamabad’s edition. Besides this Pakistan won silvers in 1991, 1995, 1997, 1999, 2004 and 2010 editions. The bronze came in 2006 and 2016 editions.

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