Hyderabad Black Hawks and Chennai Blitz played an absolute thriller of a game in Match 16 of the RuPay Prime Volleyball League Powered by A23 Season 2, with the former walking out victorious 3-2 (10-15, 15-14, 15-9, 12-15, 15-11).

Surprisingly, Hyderabad made a slow start to the game, losing the first set 10-15. The Telangana-based team, however, raised the stakes and went on to win the next two sets. Chennai did pull one back in the fourth round, putting both sides into a do-or-die situation.

With the scores tied at 11-11 in the final round, consecutive Super Points did the trick for Hyderabad as they registered their second win of the home leg. Let’s look at three key takeaways from this game.

Hyderabad’s reliability on Guru Prashant is a trouble

Relying heavily on Guru Prashant has started to become a troublesome factor for the Hyderabad Black Hawks. If not for their captain, the team would not only struggle in attack but would also have a hard time while defending. On Saturday, against Chennai, Prashant proved to be the jack of all trades. The 22-year-old was involved in all of Hyderabad’s attacks as they made a brilliant comeback in the third set.

Now, it’s not to say that Hyderabad lack quality in the team, but it is fair to admit that their dependability on Prashant is way too much. It is made evident by the fact that he ended his night with 20 points in his bag. To put things into perspective, his closest competitor, within his team, was Hemanth P with just seven points.

Defence is the best offence

Hyderabad’s attacking prowess was on full display, especially in the second and third set. This forced Chennai to move to a rather submissive approach and let Hyderabad take command of the game. As a result, the Guru Prashant-led side started making errors; and as Chennai got the technique right, they struck the sweet spot and exploited Hyderabad’s frailties.

As Hyderabad started feeling the pressure, Chennai brought their main man, Akhin GS, to add more misery to their opponent’s fate.

When in doubt, call Akhin

At one end where Guru Prashant was dominating the proceedings from the beginning, Chennai Blitz were counting on the returns of Akhin GS. The 31-year-old veteran middle blocker was key to every positive move Chennai created. Such was his dominance that none of his teammates managed to score more than 10 points on the night.

This goes to show how important the experienced Akhin is for Chennai as the lanky hitter was crucial for his team not only in offence but also in defence.