Panaji: Keeping a clean slate, West Bengal women thumped their opponents in Group B to enter the semifinals on the first day of the table tennis team events at the Campal Indoor Stadium today.
Their score over their rivals was a strong statement and Maharashtra blanked out Karnataka 3-0 to top Group A and Haryana defeated Delhi 3-2 in a thriller to join the leader as the second team from the group.
In the semifinals of the women’s team events, Maharashtra will play Madhya Pradesh while West Bengal will take on Haryana.
Among the men’s teams, West Bengal also emphatically won all three matches to sound a warning to the remaining teams and those in the other group. Maharashtra men led Group A after beating Haryana in a late evening match. The postponed match between Delhi and Assam will decide the fate of Telangana and UP as the second team. If Delhi’s men beat Assam, the most likely possibility, the former will lead the group, while Telangana will finish as the second team. If Assam beat Delhi, then Assam will lead the group with Delhi pushed to the second spot.
West Bengal played true to their potential in both sections. However, the women from Madhya Pradesh, aided by veteran Himani Chaturvedi, accounted for both Goa and Tamil Nadu to emerge as the second qualifier for the knockout tomorrow.
In men’s first-round group matches, all but two matches went the distance. Telangana tested the patience of Delhi, which eventually won on the strength of Yashansh Malik, who won both his singles to save the blushes. UP had a tough outing against Assam, but the former tamed the latter 3-2.
Sudhanshu Grover, their top player, lost to Vansh Singal 11-4, 8-11, 10-12, 7-11 to put Delhi under pressure. But Yashansh beat Mohammed Ali 8-11, 11-1, 11-7, 11-5 to restore parity.
Nevertheless, Delhi failed to grab the opportunity as Subh Goel went down 7-11, 11-8, 9-11, 11-6, 8-11 to Santhosh Kumar, who put Telangana 2-1 up. Sudhanshu made amends and beat Mohammed Ali 3-1, and Yashansh completed the job for Delhi with a 3-1 win over Vansh.
Delhi women, too, struggled before overcoming stiff resistance from Karnataka and logged their first points on the table with a 3-2 win. Garima Goyal’s third rubber proved crucial in their triumph as she beat an off-colour Anargya Manjunath 11-2, 11-5, 11-3.
After Vanshika Bhargava beat Deshna Vanshika 8-11, 11-8, 11-5, 11-8 in the first rubber, Diya Bramhachary lost 2-11, 11-9, 10-12, 4-11 to Kushi Viswanath. Vanshika lost her reverse singles to Kushi 14-16, 11-5, 11-13, 11-9, 8-11, leaving Diya to see the side through. And Diya did not disappoint as she downed Deshna 8-11, 11-7, 11-7, 11-4 to inch closer to securing a place in the semifinals.
Men: Group A: Round 1: Maharashtra bt Goa 3-0; West Bengal bt Haryana 3-0; Round 2: Haryana bt Goa 3-1; West Bengal bt Maharashtra 3-0; Round 3: West Bengal bt Goa 3-0; Maharashtra bt Haryana 3-1.
Group B: Round 1: Delhi bt Telangana 3-2; Uttar Pradesh bt Assam 3-2; Round 2: Delhi bt Uttar Pradesh 3-1; Assam bt Telangana 3-1; Round 3: Telangana bt Uttar Pradesh 3-1; (Delhi vs Assam match postponed).
Women: Group A: Round 1: Maharashtra bt Haryana 3-0; Delhi bt Karnataka 3-2; Round 2: Haryana bt Karnataka 3-0; Maharashtra bt Delhi 3-0; Round 3: Haryana bt Delhi 3-2; Maharashtra bt Karnataka 3-0.
Group B: Round 1: Madhya Pradesh bt Goa 3-0; West Bengal bt Tamil Nadu 3-0; Round 2: West Bengal bt Madhya Pradesh 3-2; Tamil Nadu bt Goa 3-0; Round 3: West Bengal bt Goa 3-0; Madhya Pradesh bt Tamil Nadu 3-1.