Men, women encounter contrasting fortunes

Indian men’s team went down 3-0 to Nigeria in their group F third round match but the women’s team made amends by entering the fourth round with an identical 3-0 win over Portugal in the team event of the World Table Tennis Championships, here on Tuesday.

Manika Batra provided India with the advantage by prevailing over Leila Oliverira 11-5, 7-11, 11-8, 9-11, 11-9 in the first match.   -  G. Ramakrishna

Indian men’s team went down 3-0 to Nigeria in their group F third round match but the women’s team made amends by entering the fourth round with an identical 3-0 win over Portugal in the team event of the World Table Tennis Championships, here on Tuesday.

After two successive wins, the men’s team led by Achanta Sharath Kamal was expected to put up some fight but the higher-ranked Nigerians proved too good for the Indians.

Soumyajit Ghosh lost the opening match to Aruna Quadri 11-5, 11-4, 11-3 in what was an abject surrender.

But Sharath stood firm against Segun Toriola and even managed to take a game from his Nigerian opponent before going down 13-15, 6-11, 13-11, 5-11.

With two rubbers already down, it was a difficult for the Indians to stage any recovery. Yet, Anthony Amalraj tried his best and put up some fight before losing 13-11, 8-11, 9-11, 8-11.

The men squad still has two matches in its group against Switzerland and Slovak Republic. They play Switzerland on Wednesday and should win the remaining two rubbers to keep hopes of entering the main draw alive.

Whitewash

But the Indian eves kept a clean slate with a convincing win over Portugal in the third round.

Manika Batra provided India with the advantage by prevailing over Leila Oliverira 11-5, 7-11, 11-8, 9-11, 11-9 in the first match.

The 1-0 lead came in handy for India as Mouma Das, putting behind her disappointing show on Monday, accounted for Catia Martins in straight games 11-5, 11-9, 11-6.

K Shamini carried on her good form to beat Patricia Maciel 11-1, 11-4, 11-9 to register another thumping win for Indian eves.

The Indian women will next play Nigeria before they wind up their group G affairs with a match against Croatia.