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PSPB teams reign supreme

The victorious PSPB squads with their reward.

The victorious PSPB squads with their reward. | Photo Credit: RITU RAJ KONWAR

There wasn’t any doubt about the class of the Petroleum Sports Promotion Board (PSPB) teams in the senior Nationals and inter-State table tennis championships here, but only about the margin of victory in the summit clash.

The men’s team retained the title (25th overall) while its women’s (16th) regained the crown with identical 3-0 victories over Maharashtra-A teams.

The Maharashtra women’s team, it was believed, would give PSPB a tough fight, but it turned out to be completely one-sided. Moreover, PSPB hadn’t won the title in the last two editions (2018 & 2019), finishing runner-up and third respectively

None of them, be it Diya Chitale, India joint No. 1 in domestic rankings, Swastika Ghosh, or Annanya Basak would make a match out of it against PSPB.

In the first tie, Archana Kamath outclassed Diya in three straight games and Manika Batra was troubled by Swastika Ghosh briefly, before the National champion came down hard on the latter. Reeth Rishya completed the formalities with a hard-fought win over Annanya.

Though the PSPB men’s team won 3-0, the first two matches did go some distance.

The first match involving G. Sathiyan and Deepit Rajesh Patil was the best of the lot, and could have been the upset of the championships had the 18-year-old Deepit won the important moments in the tie. There were no signs of Deepit’s fightback in the first game as Sathiyan won first 11-0. But, midway in the second, the youngster started to show his mettle.

Deepit’s reverse top-spin serves and forehand strokes matched Sathiyan point for point. But the 29-year-old reigning National champion got back in cruise control when it mattered.

In the second tie, Harmeet Desai fought hard to outwit Siddhesh Pande before Manav Thakkar put it across Jash Modi. Sharath Kamal was rested for the match.

The results (finals):Men: PSPB bt Maharashtra-A 3-0 (G. Sathiyan bt Deepit Rajesh Patil 11-0, 10-12, 9-11, 11-5, 11-8, Harmeet Desai bt Siddhesh Pande 11-3, 11-3, 2-11, 11-7, Manav Thakkar bt Jash Modi 10-12, 11-1, 11-4, 12-10).

Women: PSPB bt Maharashtra-A 3-0 (Archana Kamath bt Diya Chitale 11-2, 11-7, 11-5, Manika Batra bt Swastika Ghosh 11-4, 11-7, 15-13, Reeth Rishya bt Anannya Basak 11-6, 5-11, 11-8, 11-7).


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Printable version | Jun 26, 2022 1:17:22 am | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/other-sports/pspb-teams-reign-supreme/article65342409.ece