UTT 2019: Thakkar stars for U Mumba as Mavericks face early exit

The battle involving two bottom-placed sides in the six-team Ultimate Table Tennis (UTT) league ended with Mavericks staring at elimination.

Manav Thakkar won the mixed doubles match 3-0 with Doo Hoi Kem before picking up two more points for U Mumba in the singles match against Sanil Shetty.   -  UTT League

Manav Thakkar proved a game-changer before Sutirtha Mukherjee took U Mumba to a 9-6 triumph past RP-SG Mavericks, Kolkata.

The battle involving two bottom-placed sides in the six-team Ultimate Table Tennis (UTT) league ended with Mavericks staring at elimination.

The match also saw Manika Batra crash to her second loss in three outings. After Goa Challengers’ Archana Kamath thrashed Manika 3-0, it was Sutirtha Mukherjee’s turn to cruise to a 2-0 lead before dropping the third.

Though Sutirtha exposed the chinks in Manika’s armoury, it was Thakkar who hurt Mavericks the most.

By the time Thakkar stepped into the arena to play mixed doubles with Doo Hoi Kem, his team had lost two singles and was trailing 2-4 on tie-score.Thakkar and Doo trailed the first game 0-7 to southpaws Sanil Shetty and Matilda Ekhom, putting the Mavericks on top.

But soon Thakkar began a resurrection. With Doo playing the supporting role, Thakkar’s aggression paid off and the pressure slowly shifted to the Mavericks pair. Eventually, it was Thakkar and Doo who took the ‘golden point’.

Mavericks never recovered from losing the game as Thakkar and Doo piled on the agony by completing a 3-0 win.

The result put Mumbai 5-4 ahead but Thakkar was not done. He dominated the first two games against Shetty but could not complete a rout as he lost the ‘golden point’.

With the score reading 7-5, Sutirtha was expected to take at least one game off Manika. She did way better by claiming two games, allowing Manika some consolation with the third.

The results:

U Mumba beat RP-SG Mavericks 9-6 (Doo Hoi Kem lost to Matilda Ekhom 5-11, 11-3, 8-11; Kirill Gerssimenko lost to Benedikt Duda 10-11, 11-10, 7-11; Manav Thakkar and Doo Hoi Kem bt Sanil Shetty and Matilda 11-10, 11-6, 11-7; Thakkar bt Shetty 11-8, 11-9, 10-11; Sutirtha Mukherjee bt Manika Batra 11-7, 11-7, 1-11).

Friday’s fixture:

Dabang Delhi v Goa Challengers (7 pm)