Event Section
Haryana's Junior Girls upset defending champs West Bengal to enter quarterfinals


Sonepat, December 26: Haryana caused a major upset when they sent defending champions West Bengal out of competition in the 11Sports 80th Junior and Youth National Table Tennis Championships at the DPS Hall here today.


The 3-2 victory for Haryana came in the crucial decider when their defensive player, Anjali Rohilla made up for her first singles loss to beat Munmun Kundu 4-11, 11-8, 11-2, 11-9.


Earlier, Suhana Saini had give a fine opening, beating a fighting Munmun Kundu in the first tie 11-3, 15-17, 11-7, 6-11, 11-4. But Anjali squandered the advantage losing to Poymantee Baisa in straight games of 3-11, 5-11, 7-11. But the Haryana pair did well to strike back and win the doubles 11-9, 11-7, 11-9 against Poymantee and Munmun to go 2-1 up.


However, it was neutralized when Poymantee downed Suhana 7-11, 11-8, 7-11, 11-3, 12-10 in another close encounter that went down to the wire. Poymantee fought really well and after deuce in the fifth game seized the first opportunity to win it on extended points after Suhana failed to hold serve.


With the burden on Anjali, the defensive player did not begin well losing the opening game. But she came into her own, striking a nice rhythm to outwit Munmun, who was unable to counter Anjali in the pressure game.


The Haryana girls will next take on Maharashtra A squad which made amends beating Rajasthan 3-0 after their A and B teams in Junior Boys failed to go past the pre-quarterfinal hurdles. In Junior Girls Maharashtra B, too, fell by the wayside when Karnataka thrashed them 3-1.


In fact, it seemed all easy for the Maharashtra A boys after Raegan Albuquerque and Chinmaya Somaiya provided a great start before West Bengal beat them 3-2, taking the last three ties.


Raegan just dropped a game against Rohan Ghosh but won 11-5, 9-11, 11-8, 11-2 to put Maharashtra A ahead. Chinmaya followed him with a similar 3-1 (11-7, 6-11, 11-9, 11-7) victory over Akash Pal. At this stage nobody would have given West Bengal a semblance of chance with Deepit R. Patil and Dev Shroff warming up for the doubles.


However, the two failed to make any impression against Rohan and Akash who combined well to win 11-6, 11-9, 12-10. The left-right combination of Maharashtra duo was lacking sting in their attack and woefully inadequate at the back to tackle the West Bengal pair.


The doubles win gave an opening to West Bengal which Akash Pal consolidated with a fine 3-1 (11-8, 11-8, 9-11, 11-6) triumph to bring scores on level for the team. And Rohan made it look simple and straight against Chinmaya to win 11-9, 11-6, 11-8 and storm into the quarterfinals.


In the quarterfinals, to be played later today, West Bengal will meet North Bengal, who beat Tamil Nadu 3-1 in the pre-quarterfinals.


Results (Pre-quarterfinals):


Junior Boys: Mizoram bt Tripura 3-1, Karnataka bt Goa 3-1, Delhi bt Uttar Pradesh 3-0, Telangana bt Haryana 3-1, West Bengal bt Maharashtra A 3-2, North Bengal bt Tamil Nadu 3-1, PSPBA bt Maharashtra B 3-0, Gujarat bt Punjab 3-0.


Junior Girls: Maharashtra A bt Rajasthan 3-0, Tamil Nadu bt North Bengal 3-0, Assam bt Odisha 3-1, Karnataka bt Maharashtra B 3-1, Telangana bt Madhya Pradesh 3-1, Delhi bt Andhra Pradesh 3-0, Uttar Pradesh bt Gujarat 3-0, Haryana bt West Bengal 3-2.