New Delhi, Jun 20 (PTI) Manika Batra’s heroics went in vain as RP-SG Mavericks outplayed table toppers Dabang Smasher TTC in Ultimate Table Tennis at the Tyagaraj Stadium here today.
The win now sees Mavericks end the night on 37 points, just two adrift of the table toppers Smashers.
Indian table tennis’ poster girl, Batra came back from a game down to eke past the World No.60 Sabine Winter of Germany 2-1 (4-11, 11-3, 11-7) in a thrilling encounter to help Smashers race to an early lead but the Mavericks launched a great fightback to record a 13-8 victory.
The 2018 Commonwealth Games doubles gold medallist, playing infront of her home crowd, conceded the opening game in a rather meek fashion. But she made a strong comeback and fired in a total of 10 winners in the next two games to seal the match.
Skipper Harmeet Desai, however, drew level (3-3) for Mavericks in the next match with a prolific win over World No.27 Yoshida Masaki of Japan 2-1 (11-8, 10-11, 9-11).
In the mixed doubles encounter, captain Sathiyan Gnanasekaran and Sakura Mori recorded a pulsating 10-11, 11-9, 11-2 victory over the pair of Harmeet and Doo Hoi Kem to help Dabang snatch the lead back.
With Smashers leading 5-4 after three matches, Cedric Nuytinck further swelled the scoreline in their favour with a thumping 2-1 (7-11,11-3,11-7) win over World No.33 Kou Lei.
World No. 13 Doo Hoi Kem brought Mavericks right back into the tie with a dominating 3-0 victory over Sakura Mori.
With the home side trailing 7-8, it was down to Sathiyan to keep his side in contention for the win.
But Mattias Karlsson, the World No.18 from Sweden proved too much for the Indian and underlined his authority turning in a sterling performance to win 3-0 (11-7, 11-8, 11-8) to condemn Sathiyan to his first singles defeat in UTT as well as to take the tie out of Smashers’ reach.
In the last encounter of the night, Mouma Das further completed the domination with a dominating 2-1 (10-11, 11-8, 11-9) victory over the World No.38 Adriana Diaz of Puerto Rico.
This is published unedited from the PTI feed.