Tokyo, April 30 IANS | 8 months ago

Indian women passed the Italian test scoring their fourth consecutive victory while the men lost to the European team 2-3 in Stage 1 of the second division group matches at the World Table Tennis Championships here Wednesday.

The Indian women, despite starting on a losing note, carved out a convincing 3-1 win and have one more match in Stage 1 against Bulgaria Thursday.

K. Shamini had to labour her way through in the opening singles losing 4-11, 3-11, 11-8, 11-9, 9-11 to Chiara Colantoni. Shamini had everything going for her in the fifth game but a couple of crucial errors cost her dear.

Nevertheless, Manika Batra defeated Debora Vivarelli 11-8, 8-11, 11-9, 14-12 to level the score. Then Pooja Sahasrabudhe accounted for Lisa Ridolfi 8-11, 11-3, 13-11, 11-3 followed by Manika who, playing her reverse singles, downed Chiara 11-8, 11-6, 11-5 to avenge Shamini's defeat.

In men's section, Harmeet Desai lost his opening singles to Mihai Bobocica 10-12, 11-8, 7-11, 9-11 but both Achanta Sharath Kamal and Soumyajit Ghosh won their singles matches to give India a 2-1 lead. Sharath beat Niagol Stoyanov 12-10, 12-10, 11-3 while Ghosh downed Leanardo Mutti 6-11, 11-8, 11-9, 9-11, 11-9.

However, in his reverse singles Sharath lost to Mihai 1-11, 7-11, 11-7, 12-10, 9-11 putting the burden back on Desai who failed to pass the test against Niagol, losing 11-8, 7-11, 8-11, 22-24.

"Sharath had a very good chance but he was obviously upset the way he lost his first two games. Though he tried to come back nicely, his rhythm was upset," said foreign coach Engel, who is, however, confident of India pulling it off against Paraguay Thursday.

As for Desai, Indian coach Bhawani Mukherjee lauded the youngster's effort, particularly in the fifth game.

"Both made mistakes but Desai made a few more than his rival. When he tried to slow down the match, it cost him a few points which in the ultimate analysis proved costly," said Mukherjee.

(Posted on 30-04-2014)

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