It proved pack-up time for Manika Batra and RP-SG Mavericks fromthe Ultimate Table Tennis league.
Marching ahead in style wasChennai Lions that led comfortably through the tie and completed aresounding 11-4 thrashing of the Kolkata franchise here onTuesday.
The triumph catapulted Chennai from the fifth to thesecond spot in the six-team league table.
U Mumba mauls Goa Challengers as in-form Thakkar, Doo Hoi shine
With only two leaguematches remaining, U Mumba heads the table with 44 points from fivematches, followed by Chennai (35 from four), Dabang Delhi (33 fromfour), Goa Challengers (30 from four), Mavericks (30 from five) andPuneri Paltan (23 from four).
Tuesday’s tie ended the agonisingcampaign of Manika in the league. Struggling for form, Manikasuffered a humiliating 3-0 drubbing at the hands of MadhurikaPatkar.
Once World No. 24 Petrissa Solja set the pace for Chennaiwith a surprise 3-0 rout of Matilda Ekholm, ranked 23, Maverickssimply could not bridge the gap.
Tiago Apolonia enlarged the leadby taking the first two games against Sanil Shetty, who did manageto pull one back. Thereafter, the unbeaten duo of Sharath Kamal andPetrissa made amends for letting go of the first game on ‘goldenpoint,’ to Benedikt Duda and Manika, by racing away with the nexttwo games.
Sathiyan: ‘I knew this was my day’
Sharath could not keep up the pace with his good friendDuda in the singles and lost 1-2. But Sharath gave his team thewinning lead in an encounter that provided most thrills. Theplayers produced some long rallies, interspersed by some innovativeshot-making from both players.
But Sharath’s defeat was soon pushedinto the background once Madhurika came out firing against Manika.She controlled the first game to put the pressure on the favourite.In the second, Madhurika showed her character by bouncing back from0-5 and 8-10 to claim the ‘golden point’.
In the final game,Madhurika progressively grew stronger and left an exasperatedManika with plenty to think about.
Wednesday’s fixture: Goa Challengersv Puneri Paltan (7 pm).
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