TT Nationals: PSPB teams reign supreme

The men defeated Haryana 3-1 and the women subdued West Bengal 3-0.

Sharath Kamal beat Sarthak Gandhi by 8-11, 11-4, 11-1, 11-6.   -  Rohit Jain Paras

Manika Batra beat Mousumi Paul by 10-12, 8-11, 11-8, 11-8, 11-6.   -  R. V. Moorthy

Petroleum Sports Promotion Board reinforced its stranglehold on the men’s and women’s team titles of the Senior National Table Tennis championships at the Kotla Vijay Bhaskara Reddy Indoor Stadium on Thursday.

The men defeated Haryana 3-1 and the women subdued West Bengal 3-0.

The start to the men’s campaign wasn’t a sound one though, as Soumyajit Ghosh succumbed to an aggressive Jubin Kumar 11-6, 9-11, 12-14, 11-5, 8-11. It took A. Sharath Kamal to restore parity for the petro giant through an 8-11, 11-4, 11-1, 11-6 win over Sarthak Gandhi.

Harmeet Desai conceded a game to Mohit Verma but held out to the end. In the reverse singles, Sharath put the issue beyond doubt, quelling the challenge from Jubin in four sets.

Sharath had dropped a game each against both his opponents.

“I haven’t played against Sarthak Gandhi; I was not quite ready for his new serves and was not cautious enough,” the bandana-adorned champ explained.

“Against Jubin, I was more mentally tired. Coming from Germany, where the temperature is 0 degrees, I was sweating too much here,” he said.

Quizzed if he was playing too far from the table against Jubin, he said that was his style and playing close to it was Jubin’s. “More friction from the table finds the ball dipping,” he said.

Sidelined by a hamstring injury during the World Championships, wheelchair-bound for six weeks after, and out of action till September, he said he was not fully fit. “But I hope to be ready by Sunday,” the world men’s singles No. 71 said.

“I am okay with my form, but I do feel like resting for some more time. I was really impressed with the way Jubin played. Beating Ghosh needed some guts and Jubin was too good today. He even took a set off me, and all credit to him,” he added.

Results:

Men’s Team: Final: PSPB bt Haryana 3-1 (Soumyajit Ghosh lost to Jubin Kumar 11-6, 9-11, 12-14, 11-5, 8-11; A. Sharath Kamal bt Sarthak Gandhi 8-11, 11-4, 11-1, 11-6; Harmeet Desai bt Mohit Verma 11-9, 7-11, 11-6, 11-9; A. Sharath Kamal bt Jubin Kumar 10-12, 11-7, 11-8, 11-5). Semi-finals: PSPB bt Gujarat 3-0 (Achanta Sharath Kamal bt Manav Thakkar 11-4, 11-5, 16-14; Anthony Amalraj bt Devesh Karia 11-3, 11-6, 11-13, 11-7, G. Sathiyan bt Jignesh Jaiswal 7-11, 11-6, 11-8, 11-1); Haryana bt Maharashtra 3-0 (Sarthak Gandhi bt Sanil Shetty 11-7, 9-11, 11-8, 10-12, 11-9; Jubin Kumar bt Aman Balgu 9-11, 11-3, 13-11, 11-5; Mohit Verma bt Noel Pinto 11-5, 11-9, 6-11, 11-9).

Women’s Team: Finals: PSPB bt West Bengal 3-0 (Manika Batra bt Mousumi Paul 10-12, 8-11, 11-8, 11-8, 11-6; Mouma Das bt Krittwika Sinha Roy 11-7, 11-4, 11-7; Ankita Das bt Anindita Chakraborty 11-6, 12-10, 8-11, 11-5). Semi-finals: PSPB bt RBI 3-0 (Manika Batra bt Kakoli Lahkar 11-9, 11-4, 13-11; Mouma Das bt Shweta Parte 7-11, 11-7, 11-3, 9-11, 11-9; K. Shamini bt Shruti Talnikar 11-8, 11-9, 11-4); West Bengal bt Tamil Nadu 3-1 (Mousumi Paul bt Amrutha Pushpak 9-11, 13-11, 12-10, 11-7; Shreya Ghosh lost to Reeth Rishya 6-11, 11-6, 9-11, 11-5, 9-11; Anindita Chakraborty bt Vidya Narasimhan 13-11, 11-4, 12-10; Mousumi Paul bt Reeth Rishya 11-9, 11-6, 8-11, 11-8).