Pokhara, Nepal, December 6, 2019 – On a day when Pakistan had mixed fortunes, hosts Nepal pulled off their first win in both men’s and women’s events at the 13th South Asian Games beach volleyball competition on he banks of Fewa Lake here on Friday.

Fresh from winning two consecutive matches against Nepal 1 and Bangladesh 1 on the opening day in Pool A, Pakistan 1’s Khan Zasrnab/Khan Afaq made it three in a row on Friday following a 2-0 (21-18 21-13) win against Maldives 2’s Abdulla Zayaan/Ahmed Mohammad, but Pakistan 2’s Razzaq Muhammad/Waseen Muhammad, who claimed two wins against Nepal 2 and Bangladesh 2 on Thursday, dropped their rhythm to go down in straight sets 19-21 17-21 to Maldives 1’s Adam Naseem/Mohammad Ali.

Nepal revived their fortunes with their both men’s teams tasted wins on Friday. Nepal 1’s Man Bahadur/Dil Bahadur Sunar got off to disappointing starts on their campaign on the opening day after going down 1-2 to Pakistan 1 and 0-2 to Sri Lanka 2.

However, they finally found their touch to cruise past Bangladesh 1 2-0 (21-15 21-18) on Friday and are due to next take on Maldives 2’s Abdulla Zayaan/Ahmed Mohammad the following day. The Nepali duo need a must-win match against Maldives 2 to make sure they are able to finish among top four in their pool to make the cut for the quarter-finals on the same day.

Nepal 2’s Raju B.K./Sanju Shah also faced the same fate on Thursday after losing two consecutive matches comprising 0-2 to Pakistan 2 and 0-2 to Sri Lanka 1. Nonetheless, the Nepali pairing turned things around on Friday to beat Bangladesh 2’s Hossain Md Monir/Ali Md Shahjahan in straight sets 22-20 21-16.

Pakistan 1 and Sri Lanka 2 jointly led Pool A with similar 6 points from three straight wins, while Nepal 1, Bangladesh 1 and Maldives 2 are expected to fight it all out after three of them had similar 4 points .

In Pool B, Sri Lanka 1 led the pack with 6 points from three wins in a row, while Pakistan 2 and Bangladesh 2 finished in joint second with 5 points. Nepal 2 and Maldives 1 also came in joint third place with 4 points apiece.

At the end of the pool round-robin preliminaries, top four teams of each pool will be eligible for the Sunday’s quarter-finals.

Meanwhile, in the women’s event, hosts Nepal surged ahead Sri Lanka to stay atop Pool A and Pool B standings after completing the second day of the 3-team, four-day competition.

Nepal 1’s Binita Budhathoki/Nebika Chaudhary, narrowly beaten 1-2 by Sri Lanka 2’s Gedera Deepika/Madushani Weerasinghe on the first day, made amends for the loss by brushing off Maldives 2’s Aminath Rashidha/Ibrahim Shafna in a completely one-sided battle 21-5 21-6 in 28 minutes to lead Pool A with 3 points from one win against one loss.

Sri Lanka 2’s Gedera/Madushani are trailing in second place in Pool A with 2 points from one win and Maldives 2’s Rashidha/Shafna came in third place with one point from one loss.

Kopila Upreti/Manisha Chaudhary also helped the host side take the lead in Pool B when the impressive duo, who made a poor start in the 13th South Asian Games campaign following a 0-2 loss to Sri Lanka 1’s Tharuka Lakshini/Dinesha Prasadani, came up with an improved form and tactics on Friday to beat Maldives 1’s Moosa Fathimath Zeeniya/Aminath Rudhaina
without much effort 21-12 21-12 in 30 minutes. The Nepal 2’s tandem had 3 points from one win against one loss. Sri Lanka 1 and Maldives 1 are trailing in second and third places with 2 and 1 point respectively.

The last day of the pool round-robin preliminaries at the 13th South Asian Games beach volleyball competition continue on Saturday in both men’s and women’s events. The women’s semi-finals will be held on Sunday, with the men’s teams contesting the quarter-finals on the same day.

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