UTT: Maharashtra United makes semis

Karlsson trumps Sharat Kamal as Warriors go down narrowly.

Kristian Karlsson thwarted A. Sharath Kamal’s challenge to help Maharashtra United prevail over Warriors TTC .   -  Sushilkumar Verma

Kristian Karlsson thwarted A. Sharath Kamal’s challenge to help Maharashtra United prevail over Warriors TTC 11-10 in Ultimate Table Tennis here on Wednesday.

Elizabeta Samara won two crucial matches to give United the lead early on and helped it reach the semifinals with a tally of 49 points.

Karlsson turned things round in the sixth match when he collected six consecutive points to pip Sharath Kamal, who led 10-5 at that stage, at the post and win the first game 11-10. Karlsson won the next two games easily to secure an unassailable 11-7 lead.

The first four matches saw the two sides sharing the honours with six games each. Samara gave United a flying start by blanking Pooja Sahasrabuddhe 3-0. Chih Yuan Huang played a fine attacking game to wipe out Amalraj 3-0 and level the scores for the Warriors.

Amalraj then paired with Lily Zhang to upstage the fancied Warriors’ pair of Sharath Kamal and Sofia Polcanova 2-1 before Chih returned to outlast Joao Montiero 2-1.

The fifth match saw an interesting clash with Polcanova coming up against Samara. The clash of the left-handers saw Polcanova winning the opening game 11-9 but Samara showed better nerves to win the next two on ‘golden points’ (11-10, 11-10) to give United a 8-7 lead.

The result: Warriors TTC lost to Maharashtra United 10-11 (Pooja Sahasrabuddhe lost to Elizabeta Samara 11-6, 11-8, 11-1; Chih Yuan Huang bt A.Amalraj 11-6, 11-6, 11-6; Sharath Kamal & Sofia Polcanova lost to A. Amalraj & Lily Zhang 11-10, 11-9, 6-11; Chih Yuan Huang bt Joao Monteiro 6-11, 11-4, 11-8; Polcanova lost to Samara 9-11, 11-10, 11-101, A. Sharath Kamal lost to Kristian Karlsson 11-10, 11-3, 11-8; Hana Matelova bt Madhurika Patkar 11-9, 11-5, 11-6).

Points: United 49, Warriors 47.

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