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Institutional table tennis Championships: PSPB men and women enter semis after a few hiccups

Visakhapatnam: World No. 36 Manika Batra, playing her first match for the Petroleum Sports Promotion Board in the AAI-50th Institutional Championships at the Swarna Bharathi Indoor Stadium, was rusty, and it took her five games to shake it off before Reeth Rishya completed the job in style against Indian Audit to help their side win 3-0 and enter the semi-finals.

On the other hand, Sreeja Akula-led RBI disposed of Canara Bank 3-0 and hosts AAI thrashed Central Revenue by an identical margin. However, last year’s runners-up Railways dropped their second tie before gathering themselves to beat Bank of Baroda 3-1 and secure their semi-final spot.

Archana Kamath gave a rousing start to PSPB’s campaign, but Manika faltered after taking the first game of the second rubber. However, Chipia Frenaz fought back well to take the next two games and go 2-1 up. Manika, gaining confidence, dominated from there and beat the Audit woman 3-1. Reeth got stretched a bit more than expected in the first game by Suhana Narjinary, but the experienced PSPB woman doused her aspirations soon enough.

Both RBI and AAI had no hiccups in their quarterfinals. Sutirtha Mukherjee’s was not a fluent win against Manishree Patil of Bank of Baroda who made her sweat a lot. Soon after, V. Kowshika lost her rubber to Nithyashree Mani, putting the Railways in some trouble. But Poymantee Baishya made amends, and Suthirtha, still to recover from the first tie, dropped one game to Nithyashree before wrapping it up.

Though RSPB, AAI and RBI, as expected, entered the semi-finals along with favourites PSPB, RSPB, AAI and RBI got some scare from their opponents, Central Revenue, FCI and Indian Audit, respectively. But in the PSPB and Bank of Baroda match, the second tie between Sathiyan and Mudit Dani aroused much interest. The national champion struggled as Mudit not only took the second extended game on his fourth game point but took the rubber too close for the PSPB paddler’s comfort. The BoB guest player levelled the score at 2-2, but Sathiyan closed him out in the decisive fifth game to put his side in the semis. Earlier, Sanil Shetty and Harmeet Desai won 3-0 and 3-1 against H. Jeho and Wesley Rosario. RSPB, too, dropped a tie when Anirban Ghosh lost his match with Parth Virmani 1-3. However, Anirban made amends to win his reverse singles against Siddesh Pande. 

RBI’s saviour was Manush Shah, who won both his singles, while Raj Mondal made amends with a win over Sushmit Sriram in the crucial last rubber. However, Mondal and Vighney P Reddy lost their singles to Abhimanyu Mitra and Shankab Barua, respectively.


Men: PSPB bt Bank of Baroda 3-0 (Sanil Shetty bt H. Jeho 11-6, 11-7, 11-8, Harmeet Desai bt Wesley Do Rosario 8-11, 11-4, 11-9, 11-8, G. Sathiyan bt Mudit Dani 11-6, 14-16, 11-3, 11-13, 11-3); AAI bt FCI 3-1 (SFR Snehit bt Aditya Jain 12-10, Jeet Chandra bt Chitrax Bhatt 12-14, 11-9, 10-12, 11-6, 11-7, Soumyadeep Sarkar lost to Sameet Sahni 0-11, 5-11, 8-11, Snehit bt Chitrax Bhatt 11-6, 11-6, 11-6); RBI bt Indian Audit 3-2 (Manush Shah bt Sushmit Sriram 5-11, 11-5, 11-6, 11-8, Raj Mondal lost to Abhimanyu Mitra 10-12, 7-11, 6-11, Vighney Reddy lost to Shankab Barua 3-11, 5-11, 11-5, 13-11, 10-12, Manush Shah bt Abhimanyu Mitra 11-6, 11-3, 11-8, Raj Mondal bt Sushmit Sriram 11-7, 11-8, 11-7); RSPB bt Central Revenue 3-0 (Ronit Bhanja bt Siddesh Pande 11-5, 7-11, 11-7, 11-3, Anirban Ghosh lost to Parth Virmani 8-11, 9-11, 4-11, Akash Pal bt Kishore Kumar 11-9, 12-10, 11-5, Anirban Ghosh bt Siddesh Pande 11-6, 11-8, 11-3).

Women: RBI bt Canara Bank 3-0 (Ayhika Mukherjee bt Kushi Viswanath 11-5, 11-6, 13-11, Sreeja Akula bt Mariya Rony 11-5, 11-9, 11-7, Diya Chitale bt Anannaya Basak 11-7, 11-2, 12-10); PSPB bt Indian Audit 3-0 (Archana Kamath bt Neha Kumari 11-2, 9-11, 11-7, 11-8, Manika Batra bt Chipia Frenaz 11-9, 7-11, 9-11, 11-7, 11-9, Reeth Rishya bt Suhana Narjinary 14-12, 11-9, 11-7); AAI bt Central Revenue 3-0 (Swastika Ghosh bt Garima Goyal 11-3, 11-3, 11-6, Taneesha Kotecha bt Seelnadeepthi Selvakumar 11-9, 11-1, 11-9, Radhapriya Goel bt Vidya Narasimhan 11-9, 11-7, 11-4); RSPB bt Bank of Baroda 3-1 (Sutirtha Mukherjee bt Manushree Patil 11-7, 11-8, 9-11, 12-15, 11-5, V. Kowshika lost to Nithyashree Mani 12-10, 9-11, 8-11, 8-11, Poymantee Baisya bt Senhora D’Souza 11-7, 11-8, 11-7, Sutirtha Mukherjee bt Nithyashree Mani 11-6, 11-4, 9-11, 11-6).





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