The Indian men and women, hardly challenged, posted comfortable wins over their rivals to make it to the semifinals of the table tennis team events of the XXI Commonwealth
Games at the Oxenford studios here on Saturday.
In the men’s quarterfinal, the Indians finding themselves pitted against Malaysia were dominant all through before winning by a comfortable 3-0 margin. It was Harmeet Desai who set the ball rolling with an easy 11-4, 12-10, 11-6 win over Chee Feng Leong while Sharath Kamal, too, proved to be in great form as he dispatched off Muhammad Rizal at 11-8, 11-7, 11-6.
Thereafter, Harmeet returned in the company of Sathiyan Gnanasekaran to complete the rout, putting it past Javen Choong and Chee Feng Leong 11-7, 11-6, 11-7.
Indian women also did not have to break much sweat en route to the round of last four, what with Manika Batra fully in control against her Mauritian rival Ying Ho (11-9, 11-7, 11-7) and Madhurika Patkar after a poor start steadied herself well to win over Karen Lyne 7-11, 11-9, 11-9, 11-8.
In the doubles, Mouma Das joined Patkar as usual and the duo overcame a second set loss, caused mainly to the unexpected errors which crept into the Indians, to shut out Ai Xin Tee and Ying Ho 11-8, 10-12, 11-8, 11-7.
In the semifinals to be played on Sunday, the women’s team will take on England which stopped Canada 3-1. The other semifinal of the same section will be played between top ranked Singapore and host Australia before the medallists are decided later in the day.
In the men’s section, the next opponent for India will be Singapore which was stretched before prevailing 3-2 against Canada. The semifinals of this section are to be played on Monday.