India start Asian Sr Volleyball C'ship on winning note

India took 82 minutes to prevail over Kazakhstan 25-18, 25-12, 25-22 at the Netaji Indoor Stadium courts here.India stamped their authority in the match by pocketing the first two sets 25-18, 25-12. But the reigning champions struggled in the third as they trailed 12-16 till the second technical time-out.

However, fine shows from skipper Sanjay Kumar and M Ukkrapandian ensured a remarkable comeback by the Indians, who edged past the Kazakhs 25-22 to seal the match in their favour.

The Indians began fluently in the first set as they took a 16-14 lead in the second technical time-out before settling the issue in 33 minutes.
They were more dominating in the second set as they took 24 minutes to wrap it up 25-12.
However, a few errors in the third set gave India a tough time as they trailed the Kazakhs right from the start. But the hosts pulled up their socks in time and fought back brilliantly to pocket the third set in 25 minutes. Meanwhile, in the opening match of the day, Iran thrashed Pakistan 25-21, 25-19, 25-18 to start their campaign on a high.

Iran, which is participating in the event without its top players as they are busy preparing for the World Championships, faced some resistance from Pakistan in the opening set before settling the affair 25-21 25-19 25-18 in 87 minutes.
Error-prone Pakistan struggled with their service, while their libero Shahrukh was below par.

Iran, on the other hand, surged ahead with good smashing from Vali Nourmohammadi, while Alireza Mobasheridemneh was solid in defence.
Pakistan briefly troubled their opponents when they went up 18-17 in the first set but from there on it was a total domination from Iran.

Iran head coach Payman Akbari said they wanted to assess their opponents first before attacking."Pakistan played well but their inexperience came to the fore, especially in service. We are satisfied with our show," Akbari said.

Iran will take on defending champions India in their next match and Akbari said the home team would be a tough nut to crack in friendly atmosphere."There will be a stiff opposition but we will analyse their strengths and weaknesses," he said.

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