Goa, December 15: Haryana’s Cadet Girls, led by Suhana Saini, outsmarted Delhi to enter the quarterfinals of the 11Sports 79th Cadet and Sub-Junior National Table Tennis Championships at the SP Mukherjee Indoor Stadium here today in what seemed to be the biggest upset in team events so far.
Suhana, who has been consistent and the main pillar of the team, saw to it that she led from the front to take her team home after contributing in big measure—she won her two singles but failed to clinch the doubles in the company of Anjali Peri, leaving Tanishka Saluja to bring back the team on rails through crucial deciding rubber.
It was a big burden for the second player but she came out in flying colours despite precariously place by the third game at 1-2. However, Yashika Sharma, her opponent, failed to press home the advantage as Tanishka won the last two games to score an upset win of 4-11, 11-4, 10-12, 11-9, 11-8.
Earlier, Suhana defeated Yashika Sharma 11-6, 11-6, 11-8 to win the opening rubber while Tanishika lost to Kaashvi Gupta 6-11, 2-11, 4-11, giving Delhi the edge. They cashed in on the win as the doubles pair of Yashika and Kaashvi beat Anjali and Suhana 11-6, 11-3, 11-7. But once Suhana restored parity in her reverse singles, beating Kaashvi 11-9, 11-9, 11-3, it was up to Tanishka to perform or perish. And the Haryana girl did not let the team down.
The match between UP and North Bengal, too, reached its crescendo when Vaishnavi Yadav easily beat Reshita Dey of North Bengal 11-7, 11-8, 11-8 for a 3-2 verdict over their rivals after Vartika Bharat beat Reshita and UP duo accounted for North Bengal’s doubles pair of Roy Sampriti and Reshita. However, Sampriti was the saving grace as won her two singles.
The third match that got stretched was between Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh with the former advancing to the next round. In the 3-2 triumph, Vanshika Deshana played a crucial role winning both her singles, first against Phalgun Charvi 11-6, 11-8, 11-6 and then the last rubber against Taila Hasini 7-11, 12-10, 11-9, 11-5. In between Sahana Murthy and Shwetha Mutittige beat Budda Shresta and Tasila Hasini in straight games.
The Cadet Boys pre-quarterfinals went along expected lines with favourite teams going through the motions. Similarly, the known teams made the quarter-finals cut in Sub-Junior Boys. However, in Sub-Junior Girls, at least one match went down to the wire when Haryana stretched Assam for a 3-2 verdict in favour of the latter. But for this one, the rest were easy pickings for the top teams.
Yet again, it was Suhana who was the vital cog in Haryana’s wheels of fortunes. But she easily beat Akansksha Deka in the opening tie 11-5, 8-11, 11-6, 11-7 but Trisha Gogoi, the start player for Assam, beat Poornima Rohilla in straight games before losing the doubles to Suhana and Poornima. But in her reverse singles, she game Assam the lifeline to level the score and then Akanksha accounted for Poornima in the decider 11-7, 8-11, 11-4, 11-7 for the quarterfinal entry.
The quarterfinals in all sections will be player tonight with semi-finals and finals scheduled for tomorrow.
Sub-Junior Boys: Delhi bt Karnataka 3-0; Telangana bt Kerala 3-1; Tamil Nadu bt Maharashtra B 3-1; Maharashtra A bt Goa 3-0; West Bengal bt Andhra Pradesh 3-0; North Bengal bt Assam 3-0; PSPBA bt Punjab 3-0; Uttar Pradesh bt Gujarat 3-0.
Sub-Junior Girls: West Bengal bt odisha 3-0; Assam bt Haryana 3-2; Telangana bt Goa 3-0; Karnataka bt Uttar Pradesh 3-1; North Bengal bt Maharashtra B 3-1; Maharashtra A bt Madhya Pradesh 3-0; Tamil Nadu bt Uttarakhand 3-0; Delhi bt Gujarat 3-0.
Cadet Boys: Tamil Nadu bt Uttarakhand 3-0; Maharashtra A bt Gujarat 3-1; Kerala bt Punjab 3-1; Goa bt North Bengal 3-0; PSPBA bt Uttar Pradesh 3-0; Delhi bt Telangana 3-0; West Bengal bt Chhattisgarh 3-0; Karnataka bt Maharashtra B 3-0.
Cadet Girls: Haryana bt Delhi 3-2; Uttar Pradesh bt North Bengal 3-2; Tamil Nadu bt Telangana 3-0; Maharashtra A bt Assam 3-0; Karnataka bt Andhra Pradesh 3-2; Maharashtra B bt Rajasthan 3-0; Gujarat bt Goa 3-0; West Bengal bt Pondicherry 3-1.
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