Yoddhas pushes Mavericks on the brink of elimination

Though Yoddhas won by a narrow margin, it may still join Mavericks as the second team not to reach the last-four stage.

Nigeria’s Aruna Quadri, ranked 29th in the world, finally came good and proved his worth by getting the better of 23rd-ranked Stefan Fegerl.   -  SHIV KUMAR PUSHPAKAR

Backed by a vociferous crowd, consisting mainly of trainees from Capital’s various table tennis academies, Oilmax-Stag Yoddhas rallied to down pre-match favourite RP-SG Mavericks 16-11 in the Ultimate Table Tennis league here on Sunday.
 

The result virtually put Mavericks out of contention for a place in the semifinals.Though Yoddhas won by a narrow margin, it may still join Mavericks as the second team not to reach the last-four stage.
 

As things stand, after four matches each, both teams share the third spot with 48 points. However, they will be pushed to the joint fifth-place once Shaze Challengers (43) and Maharashtra United (42) play their respective fourth match.
 

For Yoddhas, Hong Kong’s Doo Hai Kem won both her matches 3-0 to contribute hugely to the winning tally. She easily defeated Archana Kamath and returned to down an unwell Sofia Polcanova. In the intervening period, the duo of Aruna Quadri and Manika Batra joined hands to beat Sharath Kamal and Sofia 2-1 in the mixed doubles.
 

Things seriously turned in favour of Yoddhas from the moment Mavericks’ Sharat Kamal, leading 2-0 against Croatia’s Tomislav Pucar, surprisingly lost the third set.
 

What followed was Manika’s surprise victory 2-1 over Sabine Winter. The local girl bounced back from a five-point deficit in the first set to win the ‘golden point’ .She dropped a close second set but stayed in control to win the final set.
 

Nigeria’s Aruna Quadri, ranked 29th in the world, finally came good and proved his worth by getting the better of 23rd-ranked Stefan Fegerl with a resounding 3-0 margin in the penultimate match and ensured victory for Yoddhas.
 

In the final match, Polina Mikhailova enlarged the winning margin by beating Sabine 2-1.
 

The results:
 

Yoddhas beat Mavericks 16-11 (Jubin Kumar lost to Tiago Apolonia 5-11, 6-11, 9-11; Doo Hoi Kem bt Archana Kamath 11-9, 11-3, 11-6; Aruna Quadri and Manika Batra bt A. Sharath Kamal and Sofia Polcanova 11-10, 8-11, 11-8; Tiago Apoloina bt Tomislav Pucar 11-5, 11-9, 11-5; Doo Koi Kem bt Sofia Polcannova 11-9, 11-7, 11-5; Tomislav Pucar lost to Sharath Kamal 5-11, 3-11, 11-6; Manika Batra bt Sabine Winter 11-10, 9-11, 11-6; Aruna Quadri bt Stefan Fegerl 11-8, 11-10, 11-5; Polina Mikhailova bt Sabine Winter 10-11, 11-7, 11-9).