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Assam face TN in Youth Boys U-15 final at UTT 84th Inter-State Sub-Junior and Cadet Championships 

Alappuzha: Assam thrashed Maharashtra 3-0 to book their maiden berth in the Youth Boys Under-15 team final of the UTT 84th Inter-State Sub-Junior and Cadet Championships at N.C. John Memorial Arena of YMCA today. They will take on Tamil Nadu, who outlasted a determined West Bengal 3-2, to earn a meeting with Assam in the final later tonight.

The bang-bang approach of Assam, led by Divyaj Rakhowa Roy and ably supported by Priyanuj Bhattacharyya, suited their style. But Maharashtra, who won the gold medal in Dharamsala in 2019, was left to lick their wounds as losing semi-finalists and settle for the bronze medal.

But each tie posed quite a few problems for the Maharashtra paddlers who took Divyaj the distance in the first as Rohan Dani pulled level when he was 1-2 down. Divyaj attacked from the word go in the decider, and it paid dividends instantly.

In comparison, Priyanuj dropped the second game after taking the lead but pulled up his socks quickly and treated Udit Sachdev differently to put Assam 2-0 ahead. In the doubles, the two Assam lads combined with better understanding and made things look better, shutting out the Maharashtra challenge.

Assam disposed of the Petroleum Sports Promotion Board Academy (PSPBA) team, playing for the first time, quickly and cheaply. Some resistance did come in the doubles when Sarthak Arya and Aryaka Kataria managed to take a game off Divyaj and Priyanuj. Earlier, the two Assam boys beat Sarthak and Aarya 3-0, respectively, in the singles.

Tamil Nadu had back-to-back tough matches, first against Delhi in the quarterfinals and against West Bengal in the semi-finals. After playing 15 games in the quarters, they beat Delhi 3-0. The Delhi boys would feel bad as, after putting up a fierce fight, they failed to make any progress. Nevertheless, they will be satisfied with the bronze medal.

But, as far as the second semi-final goes, Tamil Nadu should have sewen it up by the third rubber itself, after levelling the score 2-2. But even the loss of seven tie points and a sure entry into the final did not deter them when P.B. Abhinand and Umesh Kumar lost to Punit Biswas and Rupam Sardar 18-20 in the decider.

Abihnand neutralised Bengal’s 2-1 lead with a quick disposal of Punit, giving the TN boys the much-needed life. And teammate Umesh, trialling 1-2, mustered enough courage to beat the stuffing out of Rupam in the clincher. The second semi-final dragged to three hours and 45 minutes, but it was an exciting battle to watch.


Team Boys Under-15:

Semi-finals: Assam bt Maharashtra 3-0 (Divyaj Rajkhowa Roy bt Rohan Dani 11-8, 9-11, 11-6, 6-11, 11-5, Priyanuj Bhattacharyya bt Udit Sachdev 11-5, 10-12, 11-1, 11-6, Divyaj/Priyanuj bt Rohan/Udit 11-8, 12-10, 4-11, 11-8); Tamil Nadu bt West Bengal 3-2 (Umesh Kumar lost to Punit Biswas 6-11, 6-11, 8-11, P.B Abhinand bt Rupam Sardar 16-14, 11-9, 8-11, 7-11, 11-8, Umesh/Abhinand lost to Punit/Rupam 11-5, 4-11, 3-11, 11-9, 18-20, P.B Abhinand bt Punit Biswas 11-6, 11-6, 11-3, Umesh Kumar bt Rupam Sardar 8-11, 11-5, 6-11, 11-6, 11-7).

Quarterfinals: Assam bt PSPBA 3-0 (Divyaj Roy bt Sarthak Arya 11-9, 11-6, 11-7, Priyanuj Bhattacharyya bt Arya Kataria 11-8, 11-5, 11-9, Divyaj/Ppriyanuj bt Sarthak/Arya 12-10, 11-8, 8-11, 11-7); Maharashtra bt Chandigiarh 3-0 (Rohan Dani bt Pritish Sood 12-10, 11-7, 12-10, Dhruv Shah bt Vishal Garg 11-9, 8-11, 12-10, 11-8, Dhruv/Udit bt Pritish/Vishal 11-8, 9-11, 11-2, 11-8); West Bengal bt Telangana 3-1 (Rupam Sardar lost to Adlakhiya Dev 11-5, 5-11, 12-10, 7-11, 6-11, Punit Biswas bt Shaurya Raj Saxena 11-6, 11-7, 11-9, Rupam/Punit bt Aadlakhiya/Rarun Kedarnath 11-3, 15-13, 11-5, Punit Biswas bt Adlakhiya Dev 11-3, 11-6, 8-11, 14-16, 11-6); Tamil Nadu bt Delhi 3-0 (P.B. Abhinand bt Atherva Gupta 8-11, 12-10, 11-5, 11-8, Umesh Kumar bt Sudhanshu Maini 11-4, 12-10, 8-11, 7-11, 11-4, Abhinand/Umesh bt Arjav Gupta/Sudhanshu 11-9, 11-5, 9-11, 4-11, 14-12).

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