Sharath, Harmeet sparkle but Mavericks take the spoils in UTT

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New Delhi, June 25 (IANS) Indias Achanta Sharath Kamal and Harmeet Desai scored sensational upset victories in the CEAT Ultimate Table Tennis (UTT), drawing the Delhi leg to a successful close at the Thyagaraj Stadium here on Monday.

Sharath Kamal eked out two victories but that was not enough for Warriors TTC to claim the tie.

Harmeet’s stunning win over World No 22 Aruna Quadri, however, proved to be the deciding factor, giving his team RP-SG Mavericks a 11-10 victory and the table top position.

A charged up Sharath Kamal gave the Warriors the early edge, overcoming World No 20 Mattias Karlsson 2-1.

Down 7-11, 1-5, the Indian star dug deep into his bag of experience to pull off his first singles win in UTT 2.

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Sharath Kamal continued to call the shots in the mixed doubles too, pairing up with Hana Matelova of Czech Republic, for another 2-1 triumph.

The Warriors’ pair lost the first game 8-11 but soon got the measure of Harmeet Desai and Hong Kong’s Doo Hoi Kem. They wrapped up the clash 11-9, 11-8 for a handy 6-3 lead after three matches.

Earlier, World No 20 Sofia Polcanova put the Warriors ahead, scoring a tight golden-point victory in the third set over Mavericks’ Ayhika Mukherjee.

Ayhika relied on her close-to-the-table defensive play to force errors out of Polcanova. She lost the first set 9-11 but comfortably won the second 11-6. She, however, couldn’t close the match in the decider to lose 10-11.

Karlsson brought the Mavericks back in the contest, taking the fourth match 2-1. The World No. 20 downed Taipei’s Chih Yuan Chuang, unleashing a wide array of attacking shots.

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Doo then beat Polcanova 2-1 to narrow the gap to 7-8 for Mavericks. Desai then stunned Aruna Quadri 2-1 to make the score 9-9.

Warriors’ Pooja Sahasrabuddhe put up a good fight but ended up losing 1-2 to hand the tie to Mavericks.

The final leg shifts to Netaji Indoor Stadium in Kolkata from Tuesday with Dabang Smashers taking on Empowerji Challengers.

The semi-finals (June 29 and 30) and final (July 1) will also be held at the same venue.

–IANS

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