Sharath’s power pips Amalraj, Ghosh; Takeme stuns Sutirtha

Chennai-bred boy, currently World No 43, cruises into the semifinal of LPS Bossard tourney.

Sharath Kamal defeated Soumyajit Ghosh 11-4, 12-10, 7-11, 11-0, 11-9. File Photo: Shiv Kumar Pushpakar

It was expected to be a tough day at work for Sharath Kamal with A. Amalraj and Soumyajit Ghosh taking turns to test the country’s strongest player.

However, the two former National champions fell woefully short of stretching Sharath beyond a point.

Sharath, shifting gears when he needed to, produced the quality he possesses and galloped into the singles’ semifinals of the LPS Bossard All India inter-institutional table tennis championship here.

Playing well in patches against Amalraj, Sharath squandered a match-point in the fifth game and trailed 0-4 in the sixth. But as is his wont, Sharath relied on his powerful strokes to bounce right back to convert his second match-point for an 11-6, 11-8, 7-11, 11-9, 11-13, 11-9 triumph.

In the afternoon, Sharath proved too good for Ghosh during the masterly 4-1 verdict that included a rare 11-0 whitewash in the fourth game. In the fifth, Sharath trailed until 7-9 but clinched the last four points by some clinical display.

Later, as Sharath underplayed his dominating display, Ghosh was all praise for the winner. “Thank God, it was not a boxing bout… Sharath was packing so much power in his shots today. I had no chance,” was how generous Ghosh was in defeat.

Joining Sharath in the semifinal was fourth seed Harmeet Desai, who cleaned up left-handed Sanil Desai. The other semifinal will be between second seed G. Sathiyan and third seed Arjun Ghosh.

While the top-four men seeds took their allotted places in the semifinals, the ladies section saw second seeded defending champion Sutirtha Mukherjee followed fourth seed Sreeja Akula out of the race to the semifinals.

Takeme Sarkar, seeded seventh, knocked out Sutirtha 4-2, winning the sixth game after taking 10 points on the trot from being 0-4 down. The Railway girl will face third seed Pooja Sahasrabudhe, the conqueror of Manika Batra.

Earlier, in the pre-quarterfinals, former National champion unseeded Ankita Das knocked out Sreeja 4-2 and then knocked out the seasoned Poulomi Ghatak 4-1 for a place top seed Madhurika Patkar.

Results

Men: Quarterfinals: A. Sharath Kamal bt Soumyajit Ghosh 11-4, 12-10, 7-11, 11-0, 11-9, Harmeet Desai bt Sanil Shetty 11-5, 11-9, 11-5, 11-2, Arjun Ghosh (AAI) bt Sougata Sarkar (LIC) 13-11, 6-11, 9-11, 13-11, 12-10, 11-9, G. Sathiyan bt Abhishek Yadav 11-4, 11-3, 11-4, 11-5.

Women: Quarterfinals: Madhurika Patkar bt Archana Kamath 11-3, 11-7,16-14, 9-11, 9-11, 11-5; Ankita Das bt Poulomi Ghatak 11-6, 11-7, 12-14, 11-8, 11-8; Pooja Sahasrabuddhe bt Manika Batra 5-11, 8-11, 11-8, 11-7, 16-14, 11-8, Takeme Sarkar (Rlys) bt Sutirtha Mukherjee (WB) 5-11, 12-10, 14-12, 11-4, 6-11, 11-5.