National Games: Maharashtra, West Bengal inch closer to semis in women’s team event

Surat, Sep 20 (PTI) Top seeds Maharashtra and West Bengal all but sealed semifinal berths after registering contrasting wins in their opening two rounds in the women’s table tennis team event at the 36th National Games here on Tuesday.

Diya Chitale got the better of Gujarat’s Frenaz Chipia 11-9, 11-6, 12-10 in the opening match to lead Maharashtra’s charge.

Swastika Ghosh and Reeth Rishya Tennison then overcame Krittwika Sinha Roy and Filzahfatema Kadri to wind up their first round with big smiles.

In the second round, Diya, Swastika and Reethhrishya again emerged victorious against Telangana to take the top position in Group A.

They will face Haryana later in the night.

In Group B, West Bengal rode on Sutirtha Mukherjee’s two wins to sail past Tamil Nadu.

Ayhika Mukherjee scored the other win but Prapti Sen lost in between, triggering mild alarm bells in the camp.

In the second round too, West Bengal had to dig deep to subdue Karnataka 3-2. Suthirtha won her first match but suffered a surprise defeat in her second.

Ayhika won but Mouma Das lost to make it 2-2. Ayhika, however, put up a brave and calm display to down Kushi V to come out unscathed.

In the men’s competition, hosts and favourites Gujarat (Group A) started off on a winning note. They beat Haryana 3-0, with local paddler Harmeet Desai leading from the front.

The Commonwealth Games gold medallist faced a tricky opponent in the form of experienced Soumyajit Ghosh and had to deploy an all-out attacking game to come out safely.

Manav Thakkar and Manush Shah, then, got the better of Wesley Do Roserio and Jubin Kumar respectively to put Gujarat 3-0 up.