Telangana edge out Karnataka; Kerala send UP packing to enter quarterfinals

Chandigarh, December 19: Telangana’s Sub-Junior Boys edged out Karnataka 3-2 in a cliffhanger to enter the quarterfinals of the 11Sports 80th Cadet and Sub-Junior National Table Tennis Championships at the Basketball Hall of Sector 42 Sports Complex here today.

But another team from the south, Kerala equally surprised pre-tournament favourites Uttar Pradesh with a 3-2 verdict to move into the last-eight stages. But for these two upsets, the remaining top teams made it to the quarterfinals without any hiccups.

What hurt Karnataka badly was the doubles loss as their trusted pair of Sujan Bharadwaj and K.J. Akash went down to the Telangana duo of Karthik Sri Krishna and Kesavan Kannan 11-6, 9-11, 8-11, 10-12. But even before that the Karnataka boys had a bad start in the opening singles with Sujan losing to Karthik before Aakash coming to the state’s rescue with his win over Kesavan with a 3-1 victory. But in reverse singles, it was the turn of Aakash to lose the decider after Sujan had restored parity. But it was Karthik Sai Krishan who proved to be the trump card for Telangana as he won both his singles and had a helping hand in the doubles win as well.

As for Kerala, they were down and out, trailing 1-2 against UP after the doubles victory over Divyansh Srivastava and Sarth Mishra. But Divyansh, who won the opening singles against Aditya Joseph, did well to beat Amir Afthab 6-11, 11-9, 11-6, 7-11, 12-10 in the crucial fourth rubber. But Aditya turned the heat on in the decider, first winning two extended third and fourth games after 0-2 down and then taking the fifth game to seal the tie 5-11, 3-11, 12-10, 12-10, 11-9 in favour of Kerala.

In Sub-Junior Girls, the results of the knockout stage went along the expected lines with most top teams scoring 3-0 wins over their rivals. In the pre-quarterfinals, only two teams—Haryana and Assam—managed to take a game each of their opponents, Delhi and Maharashtra B, respectively.

Lakshita Narang provided the lead for Delhi when she beat Vidhi Kadian 11-6, 11-4, 11-6. But Haryana’s Suhana Saini tamed Gulshan Tamanna 11-8, 11-7, 11-7, for the only triumph of Haryana, to level the score. However, both Lakshita and Gulshan struck back to take the doubles against Suhana and Preksha Vohra, 11-4, 11-3, 11-6 and seize the initiative. Lakshita, in her reverse singles, sealed the fate beating Suhana 11-2, 11-8, 11-8 to enter the quarters.

Similarly, the Assam girls arrested the march of their rivals momentarily after Shravani Sawant and Mrunmayee Raikhelkar had put Maharashtra B 2-0 up, thanks to Harshita Das and Chayasnigdha Nath, who combined beautifully, to win the doubles 13-11, 11-2, 8-11, 9-11, 11-7 against Shravani and Mrunmayee. The two had earlier beaten Harshita and Chayasnigdha comfortably. Harshita did give a good fight against Mrunmayee in the reverse singles but the Maharashtra girl won 11-13, 12-10, 11-5, 7-11, 11-5.

In Cadet Boys, all fancied teams except Gujarat made it to the quarterfinals with easy wins over their rivals. But it was surprising to see Gujarat going down to Punjab 1-3 and Maharashtra losing their doubles to PSPB Academy boys before regrouping themselves to win.

In the Punjab-Gujarat pre-quarterfinals, Gujarat took the lead when Himansh Dahiya beat Tanish Sharma 11-9, 12-10, 9-11, 11-4 but Suhaan Gulati emerged as the hero for Punjab as he won his singles against Vivek Patel in straight games and then combined with Sahil Rawat to down Dhyey Shah and Bhavya Patel 11-8, 11-9, 11-5. In his reverse singles, Suhaan ensured Punjab’s progress with 11-5, 11-5, 12-10 victory over Himansh.

In Cadet Girls, it was a struggle for Uttar Pradesh as Punja, their pre-quarterfinals opponents, put them in enormous pressure which ended when Suhani Mahajan won the deciding rubber beating Rishita Mahajan 11-6, 11-8, 11-3. Earlier, the start UP player had won the second singles, besides having a hand in UP’s doubles victory in the company of Aadya Tyagi. The UP duo defeated Manya Pandit and Gulsheen Kaur 12-10, 11-1, 12-10. Earlier, Anika Gupta lost both her singles, but managed to stretch Rishita Mahajan in the first.  


Sub-Junior Boys (PQF): Maharashtra A bt Rajasthan 3-0, Tamil Nadu bt Assam 3-0, Kerala bt Uttar Pradesh 3-2, North Bengal bt Punjab 3-1, Delhi bt Andhra Pradesh 3-0, Gujarat bt West Bengal 3-1, Telangana bt Karnataka 3-2, Maharashtra B bt PSPBA 3-1.

Sub-Junior Girls (PQF): Maharashra A bt Goa 3-0, Gujarat bt North Bengal 3-0, Delhi bt Haryana 3-1, Karnataka bt Uttar Pradesh 3-0, Maharashtra B bt Assam 3-1, Tamil Nadu bt Himachal Pradesh 3-0, Telangana bt Uttarakhand 3-0, West Bengal bt Andhra Pradesh 3-0.

Cadet Boys (PQF):  Tamil Nadu bt Chandigarh 3-0, Delhi bt Telangana 3-0, North Bengal bt Andhra Pradesh 3-0, Haryana bt Rajasthan 3-0, Maharashtra A bt PSPBA 3-1, Punjab bt Gujarat 3-1, Karnataka bt Uttar Pradesh 3-0, West Bengal bt Maharashtra B 3-0.

Cadet Girls (PQF): Maharashtra A bt Andhra Pradesh 3-1, Tamil Nadu bt Gujarat 3-0, Maharashra B bt Goa 3-0, Uttar Pradesh bt Punjab 3-2, Karnataka bt North Bengal 3-1, Delhi bt Rajasthan 3-1, Assam bt Telangana 3-0, West Bengal bt Pondicherry 3-0.

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