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Sport - Table Tennis Printer Friendly Page   Send this Article to a Friend

West Bengal to fight it out with PSPB

Amitabha Das Sharma


PSPB men blank Tamil Nadu 3-0

Its women's team downs North Bengal 3-1


KOLKATA: After a gap of 11 years, West Bengal made it to the finals in the men's and women's sections of the 72nd Senior National and Inter-State table tennis meet here at the Netaji Indoor Stadium on Wednesday.

The host will fight it out with the defending champion Petroleum Sports Promotion Board (PSPB), which continued its dominant run from the other side of the draw in both the sections.

PSPB men blanked Tamil Nadu 3-0 while its women's team downed North Bengal 3-1. The finals will be played on Thursday.

It was in 1999 in Chennai when an undivided Bengal had reached the finals of the senior inter-state championship. Having been ousted in early stages of the championships so far, West Bengal's brilliant show was anchored by the rising stars, Souvik Saha and Souvik Kar, who teamed up with the Railways discard Anirban Nandi to put it across a much stronger combination of Maharashtra ‘A'.

With players like Sanil Shetty and Aniket Koparkar – the duo placed within top-five of the National rankings – in its ranks, Maharashtra took the favourite-tag against the host.

Bright start

Sanil gave a bright start for Maharashtra, beating Sourav easily. The contest was lit up by Anirban in the second game when he reduced Aniket to an onlooker to put the host on track. Souvik put West Bengal ahead, beating India No. 30 Aman Balgu in the crucial third rubber before Sanil returned to level the match, downing Anirban in the fourth game.

The decider turned out to be a sea-saw battle between the eighteen-year-old Sourav and the seasoned Aniket. Surprisingly, Sourav emerged victorious with a superb display and put the host in the final.

In the women's section, the experienced combination of Anindita Chakraborty and Meenu Basak scored wins over younger opponents Shruti Talnikar and Vedika Garg.

Maharashtra ‘A' took the lead through India No. 5 Mamta Prabhu, who beat Krittika Sinha Roy (ranked 32) in the opening rubber before Anindita and Meenu won successive matches to put Bengal 2-1.

Mamta returned in the fourth tie to square the scores before Krittika blanked Shruti (ranked 27) to realise West Bengal's entry into the final.

The results:

Men: PSPB bt Tamil Nadu 3-0 (Soumyadeep Roy bt Nitin Thiruvengadam 10-12, 11-7, 11-6, 9-11, 11-6; A. Sharath Kamal bt R Abhishek 11-3, 11-6, 11-2; Anthony Amalraj bt R.S. Raja 11-9, 9-11, 11-4, 11-5).

West Bengal bt Maharashtra ‘A' 3-2 (Sourav Saha lost to Sanil Shetty 5-11, 7-11, 7-11; Anirban Nandi bt Aniket Koparkar 11-5, 11-8, 11-6; Souvik Kar bt Aman Balgu 11-9, 11-13, 8-11, 11-7, 11-9; Anirban lost to Sanil 2-11, 7-11, 9-11; Sourav bt Aniket 7-11, 11-9, 11-8, 11-13, 11-9).

Women: PSPB bt North Bengal 3-1 (Mouma Das lost to Ankita Das 6-11, 10-12, 11-7, 2-11; Madhurika Patkar bt Nandita Saha 7-11, 11-8, 11-8, 11-8; K. Shamini bt Sukanya Bose 11-4, 11-7, 5-11, 11-5; Madhurika bt Ankita 11-7, 11-6, 11-3).

West Bengal bt Maharashtra ‘A' 3-2 (Kritika Sinha Roy lost to Mamta Prabhu 2-11, 12-10, 6-11, 11-6, 9-11; Anindita Chakraborty bt Shruti Talnikar 16-18, 12-10, 11-8, 11-7; Meenu Basak bt Vedika Garg 12-10, 12-14, 11-4, 7-11, 11-9; Anindita lost to Mamta 10-12, 12-10, 2-11, 11-9, 8-11; Krittika bt Shruti 11-7, 12-10, 13-11).

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