Hyderabad, Jan 7 (IANS) Petrol Sports Promotion Board (PSPB) continued their domination in the 77th Senior National and Inter-State Table Tennis Championships and claimed the men’s and women’s team titles at the Kotla Vijay Bhaskara Reddy Indoor Stadium here on Thursday.
PSPB’s men yet again lifted the Barna Ballack Cup, for the 18th time, beating Haryana 3-1, while PSPB women did an encore beating West Bengal 3-0 to retain the Jayalakshmi Cup for the 14th time overall and the second consecutive occasion after letting it slip off their hands for a year to Delhi at Raipur in 2012.
PSPB women had won their first crown at Lucknow in 1999. Only once did their men lose hold on the trophy when they went down to the Railways way back in 2001 at New Delhi.
Haryana paddler Jubin Kumar was impressive during both in the semi-final and the final but his teamates, who beat Maharashtra 3-0 in the last four contest, failed to repeat their show in the title showdown.
After knocking off Soumyajit Ghosh in the opening rubber, Jubin provided a perfect start. But veteran Achanta Sharath Kamal, returning to the grandstand event, played true to his potential and class to account for Sarthak Gandhi. Sharath’s crisp shots, off both hands, had mesmerizing effect on young Sarthak and he threw in the towel early.
Then Harmeet Desai — both Amalraj and Sathiyan were benched for the final — huffed and puffed his way to beating Mohit Verma to put PSPB 2-1 up. Then Sharath, despite being extended by Jubin in their reverse singles, did not get carried away and finished the job in style.
Sharath admitted he needed some more rest before he can return to his best form. Nevertheless, he was happy to have struck some form which helped his team win title for another year.
“I am okay with my form but do feel like having rest for some more time. But I was really impressed with the way Jubin (Kumar) played. Beating Ghosh needed some guts and Jubin was too good today. He even took a set off me and all credits to Jubin,” said Sharath, whose team defeated Gujarat in the semi-final.
As for PSPB women, they did not have any difficult at all in putting it across West Bengal in a one-sided final. Except for Mousui Paul, who extended the full distance in the first rubber, both Mouma Das and Ankita Das routed Krittwika Sinha Roy and Anindita Chakraborty to emerge winners for yet another time.
Men’s Team: (Final): PSPB bt Haryana 3-1 (Soumyajit Ghosh lost to Jubin Kumar 11-6, 9-11, 12-14, 11-5, 8-11, A. Sharath Kamal bt Sarthak Gandhi 8-11, 11-4, 11-1, 11-6, Harmeet Desai bt Mohit Verma 11-9, 7-11, 11-6, 11-9, A. Sharath Kamal bt Jubin Kumar 10-12, 11-7, 11-8, 11-5). Semifinals: PSPB bt Gujarat 3-0 (Achanta Sharath Kamal bt Manav Thakkar 11-4, 11-5, 16-14, Anthony Amalraj bt Devesh Karia 11-3, 11-6, 11-13, 11-7, G. Sathiyan bt Jignesh Jaiswal 7-11, 11-6, 11-8, 11-1); Haryana bt Maharashtra 3-0 (Sarthak Gandhi bt Sanil Shetty 11-7, 9-11, 11-8, 10-12, 11-9, Jubin Kumar bt Aman Balgu 9-11, 11-3, 13-11, 11-5, Mohit Verma bt Noel Pinto 11-5, 11-9, 6-11, 11-9).
Women’s Team: (Final): PSPB bt West Bengal 3-0 (Manika Batra bt Mousumi Paul 10-12, 8-11, 11-8, 11-8, 11-6, Mouma Das bt Krittwika Sinha Roy 11-7, 11-4, 11-7, Ankita Das bt Anindita Chakraborty 11-6, 12-10, 8-11, 11-5). Semifinals: PSPB bt RBI 3-0 (Manika Batra bt Kakoli Lahkar 11-9, 11-4, 13-11, Mouma Das bt Shweta Parte 7-11, 11-7, 11-3, 9-11, 11-9, K. Shamini bt Shruti Talnikar 11-8, 11-9, 11-4), West Bengal bt Tamil Nadu 3-1 (Mousumi Paul bt Amrutha Pushpak 9-11, 13-11, 12-10, 11-7, Shreya Ghosh lost to Reeth Rishya 6-11, 11-6, 9-11, 11-5, 9-11, Anindita Chakraborty bt Vidya Narasimhan 13-11, 11-4, 12-10, Mousumi Paul bt Reeth Rishya 11-9, 11-6, 8-11, 11-8).