WAPDA take on Army in final today

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Another thrilling contest is expected between defending champions Pakistan WAPDA and Pakistan Army in the final of the NDURE National Volleyball Championship-2019 at the Nishtar Park Sports Complex here on Monday. Both teams booked their berths after beating their respective rivals in the semifinals that concluded on Sunday. WAPDA defeated Pakistan Air Force (PAF) 25-20, 25-18, 25-15 while Army humbled Pakistan Navy 25-22, 25-21, 25-21.

The first semifinal was a contest between sheer experience and upcoming youngsters. WAPDA, comprising many internationals, not only had experience but were more skilled in their tactics. Mohib Rasool, Murad Jehan and Amil Khan dominated the proceedings immediately after the beginning of the first game taking four straight points. Their constant attacks kept PAF trailing and they hardly lost grip on the proceedings of the match. Dawood and Ismail toiled hard to lift PAF but wrong serves, poor boosting and wild smashes spoiled their points. Noman showed some aggression in his compelling smashes and got points as well but PAF couldn’t create any significant dent in WAPDA’s defense led by Murad and Hammad. PAF’s Faisal tried his forceful smashes in the second game but couldn’t decrease the margin of lead. They were exhausted in the decisive third game.

Poor anticipation, wrong positioning in the court, wild smashes and lack of cohesion were the prime reasons of Navy’s defeat in the second semifinal against Army. Outstanding performance by Haider and Anwar throughout the match earned a well deserved victory for Army. They effectively intercepted smashes from Mubasher, Navy’s star, who failed to boost many a times during the match. If Haider excelled in his compelling smashes, Anwar smashed intelligently changing angle of his hand at the last moment to deceive anticipation of Navy’s defenders.

Army started every game with calculated aggression and immediately took lead and kept Navy on chasing. In the first game, Mubasher did show his brilliance occasionally but couldn’t stop to reduce Army’s lead. If Usman and Mubasher would earn points for Navy, Abuzr would spoil them amid his poor serves, some of them hit the net. In the second game, some wild smashes from Navy’s Usman, Asif and Sharif mostly landed outside the line. They all failed to exert pressure on their opponents. Aqeel and Abuzr also tried their luck taking occasional points but Army maintained its comfortable lead. The sailors, however, composed themselves in the third game, chasing and equaling Army’s lead. However, on every occasion Army men responded boldly increasing their lead. Navy will play against PAF to decide the third place in the championship.