National C’ship: West Bengal women shock PSPB, win gold

Mousumi Paul and Krittwika Sinha Roy star in West Bengal’s title win.

The West Bengal women's team members smile after their victory. Photo: Special Arrangement

Mousumi Paul and Krittwika Sinha Roy failed to make the cut for the Petroleum Sports Promotion Board (PSPB) squad, but the duo helped West Bengal regain the women’s team championship after two years by stunning favourite PSPB on the third day of the 11Sports 80th Inter-state & National Table Tennis Championship.

Thanks to the Bengali girls’ win over Manika Batra, West Bengal surprised PSPB in a thrilling women’s final at the JN Indoor Stadium. As much as it suffered due to Batra’s twin losses, the PSPB paid dearly by fielding veteran Mouma Das ahead of in-form youngster Archana Kamath. And West Bengal capitalised on it, with Ayhika Mukherjee rolling over Das to help West Bengal surge ahead 2-1.

Nip-and-tuck

Paul started the proceedings of a delayed final — due to an unnecessary closing ceremony midway through the tournament — with her powerful backhand winners that left Batra stunned. Paul, however, failed to convert two match-points in the third game to let lanky Batra come back into the game. But the spirited Paul saved a match-point in the decider before handing West Bengal the lead.

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Seasoned Madhurika Patkar then brought parity to the scoreline with an effortless win over Sinha Roy, but Mukherjee thumped Das to give West Bengal the lead. Sinha Roy then bounced back from her defeat to overcome Batra — who hurt her back in the latter half of the match — in five games and burst into tears of joy.

The results (women)
  • Final
  • West Bengal bt PSPB 3-1 (Mousumi Paul bt Manika Batra 11-8, 11-5, 13-15, 6-11, 12-10; Krittwika Sinha Roy lost to Madhurika Patkar 8-11, 3-11, 13-11, 8-11; Ayhika Mukherjee bt Mouma Das 11-9, 14-12, 11-6; Krittwika Sinha Roy bt Manika Batra 11-7, 5-11, 10-12, 12-10, 11-8).
  • Semifinals
  • PSPB bt Maharashtra B 3-0 (Mouma Das bt Anannya Basak 11-9, 6-11, 11-4, 11-7; Manika Batra bt Diya Chitale 11-4, 11-5, 11-7; Madhurika Patkar bt Shweta Parte 8-11, 11-9, 11-5, 12-10).
  • West Bengal bt Airport Authority of India 3-0 (Krittwika Sinha Roy bt Surbhi Patwari 11-8, 11-7, 11-4; Mousumi Paul bt Mallika Bhandarkar 11-6, 11-8, 11-4; Prapti Sen bt Moumita Dutta 8-11, 11-8, 12-10, 11-2).

The results (men)
  • Final:
  • PSPB bt Gujarat 3-2 (A. Sharath Kamal bt Ishaan Hingorani 16-14, 11-4, 11-3; G. Sathiyan bt Harmeet Desai 6-11, 11-5, 11-9, 10-12, 11-7; A. Amalraj lost to Manush Shah 5-11, 10-12, 9-11; A. Sharath Kamal lost to Harmeet Desai 7-11, 11-9, 6-11, 11-4, 9-11; G. Sathiyan bt Ishaan Hingorani 11-6, 11-6, 11-7)
  • Semifinals
  • PSPB bt Delhi 3-0 (Manav Thakkar bt Parth Virmani 9-11, 11-4, 6-11, 11-6, 11-3; G. Sathiyan bt Payas Jain 11-5, 11-5, 11-8; Sudhanshu Grover bt Utkarsh Gupta 9-11, 11-5, 11-6, 11-3).
  • Gujarat bt Uttar Pradesh 3-1 (Harmeet Desai bt Abhinav Belwal 11-5, 11-3, 11-6; Manush Shah bt Abhishek Yadav 11-8, 11-9, 11-5; Jalay Mehta lost to Sarthak Seth 11-4, 11-13, 7-11, 9-11; Harmeet Desai bt Abhishek Yadav 11-9, 11-5, 11-5).