Thiruvananthapuram: Akash Pal and Poymantee Baisya of the Railways combined very well at the crunch time to beat the combine of Railways and West Bengal, Ravindra Kotiyan and Prapti Sen, 3-2 in the final of the mixed doubles to lift the trophy in the second UTT National Ranking Championships at the Jimmy George Indoor Stadium here today.
Nothing separated the two finalists as they kept winning the alternate games to keep their interests alive until the fourth game. But Akash and Poymantee upped the level with a better understanding in the decisive fifth game and forced their rivals into committing errors. After that, everything fell into place for the Railway’s pair, which seized a solid lead to finish well.
The top men sailed into the singles quarterfinals without a hiccup. But the women’s section saw fourth seed Archana Kamath, sixth seed Reeth Rishya and eighth seed Reeth Rishya biting the dust. Though Reeth exited in the first round, going down 1-3 to qualifier Priyadarsini Das of RBI, Archana lasted the first two rounds before young Yashaswini Ghorpade consumed her in the pre-quarterfinals.
An out-of-form Archana took the first game comfortably, but a confident Yashaswini routed her in the next through. In fact, the Karnataka girl had a tough second round, which won 3-2 against Nilishma Sarkar from West Bengal. Carrying her form into the pre-quarters, Yashaswini steadied herself after the first-game loss and toppled the former national champion from PSPB.
Reeth went 0-2 down quickly against an attacking Priyadarsini before pulling off a win in the third game after a deuce and some struggle. However, she failed to grab the chance and bowed out to the RBI girl.
Top-seeded Sreeja and second-seed Moumita Dutta kept their form intact, as did qualifier Ayhika Mukherjee and fifth-seed Sutirtha. All of them would fancy their chances of a shot at the title. They play their quarterfinals later tonight.
Harmeet Desai, despite dropping a game, gathered himself well to beat Aakash from Karnataka 3-1. But second seed Manav, third seed Snehit, and fourth seed Sharath won in straight games against their opponents, Raegan Albuquerque, Balamurugan and Abhishek Yadav, respectively. P.B. Abhinand from Tamil Nadu displayed his skills against Anirban Ghosh, while Yashansh Malik and seventh seed Akash Pal joined the biggies in their quest to win the crown.
Men’s Singles: PQF: Harmeet Desai (PSPB) bt KJ Aakash (Mar) 11-9, 11-8, 9-11, 11-6; PB Abhinand (TN) bt Anirban Ghosh (RSPB) 9-11, 11-7, 13-11, 4-11, 11-5; Anthony Amalraj (PSPB) bt Sudhanshu Grover (Del) 5-11, 11-8, 11-9, 12-10; A. Sharath Kamal (PSPB) bt Abhishek Yadav (UP) 11-6, 11-9, 11-8; SFR Snehit (AAI) bt MR Balamurugan (TN) 11-6, 11-7, 11-3; Yashansh Malik (Del) bt Aniket Sen Choudhury (WB) 11-5, 11-8, 11-5; Akash pal (RSPB) bt Soham Bhattacharya (Guj) 11-7, 11-5, 11-9; Manav Thakkar (PSPB) bt Raegan Albuquerque (Mah) 11-8, 11-4, 14-12.
Women’s Singles: PQF: Sreeja Akula (RBI) bt Kaushani Nath (WB) 11-8, 11-6, 11-7; Jennifer Varghese (Mah) bt Saanvi Dargan (Har) 11-6, 6-11, 11-8, 11-4; Sutirtha Mukherjee (RSPB0 bt Sampada Bhiwandkar (Mah) 9-11, 11-8, 11-4, 11-4; Yashaswini Ghorpade (mar) bt Archana Kamath (PSPB) 4-11, 12-10, 13-11, 11-5; Ayhika Mukherjee (RBI) bt Anusha Kutumbale (RSPB) 11-7, 11-7, 6-11, 14-12; Swastika Ghosh (AAI0 bt Yashini Sivashankar (RSPB) 16-14, 11-9, 11-5; Diya Chitale (RBI) bt Prapti Sen (WB) 11-5, 3-11, 11-9, 11-3; Moumita Dutta (RSPB) bt Mouma Das (PSPB) 11-9, 11-8, 8-11, 11-9.
Mixed Doubles: Final: Akash Pal/Poymantee Baisya (RSPB) bt Ravindra Kotiyan/Prapti Sen (RSPB-WB) 11-5, 13-11, 6-11, 11-13, 11-6.
Semi-finals: Aakash Pal/Poymantee Baisya bt Rahul Malik/Lakshita Narang (Pun-Del) 11-8, 11-7, 11-6; Ravindra Kotiyan/Prapti Sen bt Aniket Sen Choudhury/Munmun Kundu (WB-RSPB) 11-8, 11-5, 7-11, 11-1.