Chennai started the match strongly as it raced to a 4-2 lead. Kochi pulled back the points and it was looking like a battle of the equals but Chennai entered the first Technical Time Out (TTO) with just a two-point lead at 8-6.
Post TTO, Chennai piled up the pressure as it went into a 13-8 lead with GS Akhin converting on Kochi’s Super Point. Kochi pulled back, thanks to five errors in the set by Chennai, as it reduced the lead to 11-13. But Chennai didn’t leave it for late and closed the set at 15-12 with a spike from Ruslans Sorokins.
It continued to be the dominant team with strong defence and attack. Kochi was hardly able to garner points on its own as it scraped some via Chennai’s errors.
Chennai led 8-5 at the TTO and was in a different zone converting its Super Point at 10-7 to go to 12-7. Immediately, Kochi called for a Super Point and converted but Chennai wrapped up the set 15-10 to lead 2-0 in the match.
The third started with both teams keeping pace with each other till 4-4. Unforced errors by Sorokins and Naveen Raja Jacob allowed Kochi to have the lead for the first time in the match as it entered the TTO with a four-point advantage. Chennai called for a Super Point on Kochi’s serve and converted it with a spike from Rudy Verhoeff to reduce the gap to two points. But unforced errors cost Chennai six points and then Kochi won its Super Point too to pull one back at 15-11.
In the penultimate set, Kochi took a 3-0 lead, owing to the errors by Chennai players and a spike by K Praveen Kumar. Chennai recovered and levelled the score at 5-5. It was 7-7 when a service error by Verhoeff gave Kochi a point advantage going into the TTO. The set was now picking up the heat as breathtaking rallies got the spectators on their feet.
Chennai called for a Super Point at 7-9 and converted, similarly Kochi converted its Super Point on Chennai’s serve.