Railways no match to the title winner’s excellence

Petroleum completed its dominance of all four team titles on offer in the Ordnance Factories Board 42nd inter-institutional table tennis here on Friday.

Proving yet again that it commands the best repository of talent in the country, Petroleum virtually steamrollered Railways to retain the men’s and women’s titles at the Khudiram Indoor Stadium.

Its youth teams — boys’ and girls’ — had already ensured the titles winning the round-robin format on Thursday. It was the 10th title in succession for the men, while it was the ninth for the women.

Railways, which progressed to the title round outgunning strong Airports Authority of India in the semifinals, failed to match its final opponent, especially in the women’s section losing 3-0.

Former champion K. Shamini provided a good start powering past Takeme Sarkar 3-0. Shamini’s best came in the second game. Trailing 5-10 at one point, Shamini won seven consecutive points to wrap up the game. After that, Shamini toyed with her opponent and finished the third game in quick time.

Another former titlist, Mouma Das also proved too good for veteran Anandita Chakraborty and won 3-1 to extend Petroleum’s lead to 2-0.

Reigning champion Poulomi Ghatak completed Railways’ demolition. Despite getting to a rusty start, where she lost the first game 17-19 to Shweta Parte, Poulomi regained her devastating form to win 3-1.

The reigning men’s champion Anthony Amalraj gave a good measure of his excellence as he made short work of Soumyajit Sarkar. The latter managed to hold up briefly by winning the third game.

But Soumyajit’s resistance ended thereafter as Amalraj wrapped up the fourth game and the match.

Indian’s highest ranked player in the world, Achanta Sharath Kamal made a cautious start against Anirban Nandi. The world No. 73, who currently practices with the German national squad, unleashed a wide array of shots that Anirban failed to contain.

Anirban stepped up his game and won the third game but Sharath settled the issue winning the next game to take Petroleum 2-0 ahead.

In the southpaw versus southpaw third rubber, Souvik Basu Roy of Railways took the fight to Sanil Shetty and won 12-14, 11-6, 11-9, 8-11, 11-9 and stopped Petroleum from having a clean sweep.

However, Amalraj came back and easily beat Anirban Nandi to ensure Petroleum’s title.

The focus now moves to individual contests.

The results (finals): Men: PSPB bt RSPB 3-1 (A. Amalraj bt Soumyajit Sarkar 11-4, 11-7, 7-11, 11-3; A. Sharath Kamal bt Anirban Nandi 12-10, 11-7, 7-11, 11-7; Sanil Shetty lost to Souvik Basu Roy 14-12, 6-11, 9-11, 11-8, 9-11; Amalraj bt Anirban 11-8,11-7,12-10).

Women: PSPB bt RSPB 3-0 (K. Shamini bt Takeme Sarkar 11-9, 12-10, 11-8; Mouma Das bt Anandita Chakraborty 12-10, 11-6, 10-12, 11-5; Poulomi Ghatak bt Shweta Parte 17-19, 11-5, 11-7, 13-11).

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