Host Bangladesh defeated Kyrgyzstan by 3-2 sets in a hard-fought semi-final clash in the Bangabandhu Asian Senior Men’s Central Zone International Volleyball Championship at Shaheed Suhrawardi Indoor Stadium in Mirpur Wednesday.
The home side will face Turkmenistan in the final Friday at the same venue at 3pm.
The men in red and green lost the first set by 15-25 points. But the host came back strongly in the next two sets, winning by 25-20 and 25-19 points. Kyrgyzstan fought back and dominated the fourth set, claiming it by 25-13 points. But Bangladesh held their nerve in the last set and won it by 15-13 points to book their place in the grand finale.
Earlier Wednesday in the first semi-final, Turkmenistan defeated Nepal convincingly by 3-0 sets to advance to the final. Turkmenistan won by 25-14, 25-18 and 25-19 points.
Bangladesh’s Narayan Debnath was adjudged the best blocker of the second semi-final while Atikur Rahman was named the most valuable player due to his brilliant performance.
“We had a plan to play all-out against Kyrgyzstan because they are a very strong opponent. They are very good in blocking. Our head coach analysed their weak points and we planned accordingly to beat them. Thanks to my teammates as they executed the plan well in the middle and we won the game eventually. Mohsin (Uddin) also played really well as we have a good understanding among us in the middle. And I duly utilised that in [Wednesday’s] match. Overall credit goes to the team,” Narayan told the media after the game.
Kyrgyzstan reigned supreme against Bangladesh in the first set but the home side showed strong character in the second and third set, clinching them convincingly to get back into the game.
Captain Horshid Biswas expressed happiness with the team performance against a strong opponent like Kyrgyzstan and hoped to perform better in the final against another tough opponent Turkmenistan.
“We knew Kyrgyzstan will be a tough opposition. We had specific plans against them, such as, we tried to improve our blocking against them. We successfully blocked quite a few points against them and it proved to be a key factor behind our win. Now we want to perform better in the final and want to become champion,” vowed Horshid.
Bangladesh won both their matches in the group stage, against Nepal and Maldives respectively.