The Indian men warmed up for their anticipated semifinal-clash with England with some expected performances in the quarterfinal league against Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales in the Commonwealth table tennis championship here on Monday.
In the ladies section, too, India faces England for a place in the final after finishing second behind favourite Singapore in second-stage league. India’s 1-3 loss to Singapore stood sandwiched between 3-0 triumphs over Scotland and Wales.
Overall, the results came on expected lines with Singapore making the semifinals by topping its group in both sections. For a place in the final, Singapore men play Scotland and women meet Malaysia on Tuesday.
It was a memorable day for Neha Aggarwal and left-hander Sanil Shetty, who caught the eye with their displays as the third singles player. Sharath Kamal and Soumyajit Ghosh looked in good touch. Mouma Das took two games off world No. four and the Commonwealth Games champion Singapore’s Feng Tianwei.
Neha, who reached the semifinals of the National championship this January to show signs of arresting the slide that began in 2009, was confidence personified against Singapore’s Zhou Yihan during her 11-6, 12-10, 7-11, 11-6 victory.
“She could not figure out a way to deal with my long-pimpled rubber. If I lost the third game, it was because she managed to attack my forehand. In the fourth, I covered the table better with my backhand,” explained Neha and said, “since morning I had a good feeling about this match and I am so happy things went as per plan.”
Sanil, making his debut in the competition, started with an impressive victory against Northern Ireland’s Peter Graham. Later, Sanil lost his way a bit in the second game against Scotland’s Niall Cameron before coming back strongly to seal the contest for India.
The results (quarterfinal league):
Men: Group ‘E’: Singapore bt Australia 3-0; England bt Wales 3-0; Singapore bt England 3-0; Wales bt Australia 3-1; Singapore bt Wales 3-0; England bt Australia 3-0.
Group ‘F’: India bt Northern Ireland 3-0 (Sharath Kamal bt Keith Knox 11-3, 11-5, 11-3; Soumyajit Ghosh bt Paul McCreery 11-5, 11-9, 11-8; Sanil Shetty bt Peter Graham 11-2, 11-5, 11-4); Scotland bt Malaysia 3-1; India bt Scotland 3-0 (Sharath Kamal bt Sean Doherty 11-6, 11-3, 11-8; Soumyajit Ghosh bt Gavin Rumgay 11-5, 11-5, 11-8; Sanil Shetty bt Niall Cameron 11-6, 9-11, 11-8, 11-3); Malaysia bt Northern Ireland 3-0; India bt Malaysia 3-0 (Harmeet Desai bt Foo Dunley 11-7, 11-6, 5-11, 11-5; Soumyajit Ghosh bt Muhammad Ashraf Haiqal 12-10, 12-10, 11-5; A. Amalraj bt Chee Kien Ee 11-8, 14-12, 9-11, 11-5); Scotland bt Northern Ireland 3-1.
Group ‘E’: Singapore bt Wales 3-0.
India bt Scotland 3-0 (K. Shamini bt Corinna Whitaker 11-5, 11-4, 11-0; Mouma Das bt Gillian Edwards 11-7, 11-4, 14-12; Madhurika Patkar bt Lynda Flaws 11-3, 11-5, 11-7); Singapore bt India 3-1 (Yu Mengyu bt Mouma 7-11, 11-9, 11-5, 11-6; Feng Tianwei bt Madhurika 11-2, 11-13, 11-2, 11-5; Zhou Yihan lost to Neha Aggarwal 6-11, 10-12, 11-7, 6-11; Feng Tianwei bt Mouma 11-5, 8-11, 11-5, 10-12, 11-4).
Wales bt Scotland 3-0; Singapore bt Scotland 3-0; India bt Wales 3-0 (K. Shamini bt Angharad Phillips 11-8, 11-4, 11-6; Mouma bt Charlotte Carey 11-1, 19-17, 11-9; Neha bt Megan Phillips 11-2, 11-4, 11-1).
Group ‘F’: England bt Australia 3-1; Malaysia bt Sri Lanka 3-0; England bt Malaysia 3-1, Australia bt Sri Lanka 3-0; England bt Sri Lanka 3-0; Malaysia bt Australia 3-0.