Sharath Kamal leads PSPB to team title at Senior Nationals TT

This was the 20th title triumph for PSPB.

Sharath Kamal’s (in picture) topspin serves and whipping backhands coupled with great anticipation were too much for Soumyajit Ghosh. (File Photo)   -  G.P. Sampath Kumar

Veteran Sharath Kamal led PSPB to the men’s team title with a fine display of table tennis that helped shut out Haryana 3-1 in the 79th edition of the 11Even Sports Senior Nationals at the Mega Sports Complex here.

This was the 20th title triumph for the institution. Incidentally, it was Haryana’s second consecutive runners-up finish. Earlier, PSPB women made a great escape to regain the crown when they overcame first-timer RBI 3-2 in a thriller.

And the 15th title-victory was made possible by Manika Batra. Captain Sharath had to share the major burden at 36. With G. Sathiyan playing the third rubber and A. Amalraj benched, it was a huge risk the captain took.

If Sharath had lost one of his matches and if matters had gone to decider, anything could have been possible. But Sharath doesn’t believe in ifs and buts and knew what he was doing. Taking no time, he dismissed Jubin Kumar for 1-0 lead. After Harmeet lost to Somyajit Ghosh, the pressure was back on PSPB but Sathiyan proved too good for Sourav Saha.

With everything hinging on Sharath, he played with full responsibility and a superb game at that against Soumyajit to close all options.

Sharath’s topspin serves and whipping backhands coupled with great anticipation were too much for Soumyajit. He, however, did manage to take a game off Sharath. But in the fourth game, despite trailing 0-3, PSPB’s ace player equalled and then unleashed some brilliant strokes which brooked little challenge from the Haryana captain.

When Sharath clinched the last point, people gave him a standing ovation in real admiration.

RESULTS: (Team):

Men: Final: PSPB bt Haryana 3-1 (A. Sharath Kamal bt Jubin Kumar 11-7, 11-8, 12-10, Harmeet Desai lost to Soumyajit Ghosh 14-16, 9-11, 11-7, 4-11, G. Sathiyan bt Sourav Saha 11- 2, 11-7, 8-11, 11-4, A. Sharath Kamal bt Soumyajit Ghosh 11-6, 11-7, 8-11, 11-4).

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