UTT 2019: Sathiyan powers Dabang Delhi to the top, Mavericks faces elimination

Skipper G. Sathiyan's heroics helps Dabang Delhi join U Mumba at the top of the table with 33 points.

G. Sathiyan won both his matches to help Dabang Delhi to the top of the UTT table.   -  UTT

In its battle for survival, Kolkata’s RP-SG Mavericks was expected to give it all. But contrary to expectations, it was defending champion Dabang Delhi that played its heart out for a convincing 10-5 win and ensured a place in the last-four of Ultimate Table Tennis League here.

The result catapulted Delhi to the top of the table where it joined U Mumba with 33 points from four outings and left Mavericks (26) staring at elimination from the six-team league.

With just a match in hand, Mavericks is most likely to join Puneri Paltan as the two eliminated teams following a 15-match round-robin league phase.

Dabang skipper G. Sathiyan produced the kind of performance expected of him. The 30th-ranked Indian was at his belligerent best in blanking Benedikt Duda, ranked 46th. Continuing his winning display in the company of Bernadette Szocs, Sathiyan played his part in stopping Duda and Manika 2-1. Late in the decider, Bernadette made amends with some sterling returns and took the pressure off Sathiyan as the duo bounced back to win.

Like Sathiyan, his teammate, 63rd ranked Jon Persson added three points at the expense of an inconsistent Sanil Shetty and gave Dabang a winning lead.

With Dabang leading 9-3 before the final singles, Mavericks’ left-hander Matilda Ekholm, ranked 23, staved off an upbeat Bernadette 2-1 and reduced the margin of defeat. But that was hardly a consolation for a team staring at elimination.

RESULTS: Dabang Delhi beat RP-SG Mavericks 10-5

Krittwika Singh Roy lost to Manika Batra 11-9, 8-11, 9-11; G. Sathiyan bt Benedikt Duda 11-9, 11-7, 11-6; Sathiyan and Bernadette Szocs bt Duda and Manika 11-10, 5-11, 11-8; Jon Persson bt Sanil Shetty 11-6, 11-10, 11-8; Szocks lost to Matilda Ekholm 8-11, 8-11, 11-5

Monday’s fixture: Goa Challengers v U Mumba (7 pm)