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Saturday, 28 January 2012

TN advances despite Kashyap's heroics

The Hindu A.V. Nivedita of Airports Authority of India in action in Lucknow on Tuesday. Photo: Subir Roy Assam's Anal Kashyap stood between Tamil Nadu and a place in the men's team quarterfinals but lacked support from his teammates as all fancied teams advanced in the National table tennis championship here on Tuesday.

Before Tamil Nadu completed a 3-2 victory, Kashyap twice levelled the match by beating G. Vinod 9-11, 11-7, 7-11, 11-5, 11-7 and R.S. Raja 13-15, 11-4, 8-11, 11-3, 11-8. But Kashyap's teammate Kaushik Kumar Phukon lost the first and fifth singles to Raja and Vinod, in that order.

In between, Sivendra Seshadari expectedly beat Chinmoy Sarma in straight games in the crucial third singles.

Barring this result, that earned Tamil Nadu a clash with Haryana, the pre-quarterfinals in both sections were one-sided.

Petroleum's men, playing without Sharath Kamal who chose to recover from jet-lag after landing from Germany, dismissed Maharashtra ‘B' to set up a clash with arch-rival Railways in the quarterfinals. Gujarat and West Bengal set up an interesting face-off for a place in the semifinals.

In the women's section, the quarterfinalists made it with 3-0 margins.

The Airports Authority of India (AAI) earned the right to challenge runner-up West Bengal after the trio of A.V. Nivedita, Nikhat Bhanu and Karnam Spoorthy stopped AP. West Bengal, a virtual Railways team that failed to qualify, made it past Assam with Anindita Chakraborty, Krittiwika Sinha Roy and Pallavi Kundu finishing the job.

Another interesting quarterfinal is likely between North Bengal and Maharashtra ‘B'. Tamil Nadu's campaign is set to end after running into the mighty Petroleum while Maharasthra ‘A' looks at another easy win after being pitted against Gujarat.

The results (Team championships, pre-quarterfinals): Men: Petroleum bt Maharashtra ‘B' 3-0; Railways bt Chhattisgarh 3-0; North Bengal bt Uttar Pradesh 3-1; Maharashtra ‘A' bt Orissa 3-1; Tamil Nadu bt Assam 3-2; Haryana bt Karnataka 3-1; Gujarat bt Madhya Pradesh 3-0; West Bengal bt Punjab 3-0.

Women: Petroleum bt Chandigarh 3-0; Tamil Nadu bt Chhattisgarh 3-0; Gujarat bt Delhi 3-0; Maharashtra ‘A' bt Uttar Pradesh 3-0; North Bengal bt Madhya Pradesh 3-0; Maharashtra ‘B' bt Jharkhand 3-0; AAI bt Andhra Pradesh 3-0; West Bengal bt Assam 3-0.

Quarterfinal line-up: Men: Petroleum-Railways; North Bengal-Maharashtra ‘A'; TN- Haryana; West Bengal-Gujarat. Women: Petroleum-TN; Maharashtra ‘A'-Gujarat; North Bengal-Maharashtra ‘B'; AAI-West Bengal.

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