Kochi, March 2nd, 2023: Kolkata Thunderbolts finished on top of the table with a 15-7, 15-4, 15-13, 8-15, 11-15 win over the Ahmedabad Defenders in the second season of the RuPay Prime Volleyball League powered by A23 at the Regional Sports Centre, Kochi on Thursday. The Thunderbolts will now face off against the fourth-placed Bengaluru Torpedoes in the first sem-final on Friday. Vinit Kumar was named the player of the match.

Kolkata began strongly as skipper Ashwal Rai became involved in the play from the middle straight away. Janshad and Vinit began threatening Ahmedabad with combination play, while the pair of skipper Muthusamy Appavu and LM Manoj counter-attacked for the Defenders.

But Cody Caldwell broke down Ahmedabad's defence with tactical play after which Ashwal Rai put pressure from the service line and the Thunderbolts took lead. Abhilash Chaudhary kept blocking Angamuthu, not allowing Ahmedabad to make any headways.

The Thunderbolts did well to keep Angamuthu quiet and the unforced errors kept coming for Ahmedabad. Ashwal led-triple block line put a stop to Nandha's attacks and Kolkata maintained their control in the game. With not much working out for the Defenders, Ahmedabad sent Shon T John to the court, but his presence did little to hamper Thunderbolts' concentration.

The Iranian Danial, after making a correct review call, started making a difference for Ahmedabad. Angamuthu, too, came to life to trouble Thunderbolts' defence. But Ahmedabad's struggles with service reception continued and Kolkata maintained their dominance. With Vinit almost being unplayable on the night, the Thunderbolts sealed the win in straight sets to confirm a spot on top of the table.

Semi-Finals Line-up:

3rd March 2023: Kolkata Thunderbolts vs Bengaluru Torpedoes

4th March 2023: Ahmedabad Defenders vs Calicut Heroes

Both the semi-finals will be played at the Regional Sports Centre, Kochi at 1900 hrs IST.

The RuPay Prime Volleyball League powered by A23 will be telecast LIVE on Sony Sports Ten 1 (English), Sony Sports Ten 3 (Hindi), Sony Sports Ten 4 (Tamil & Telugu) & Sony Sports Ten 2 (Malayalam) channels in India and will be streamed on Volleyball World TV outside the Indian subcontinent, starting February 4, Saturday.

For all match statistics, click here: here.