Harpal Singh Bedi
New Delhi: It turned out to be a double delight for the hosts as Haryana men emulated their women by overpowering Delhi 3-1 to lift the winners’ trophy in the team event of the UTT National Ranking (North Zone) Table Tennis Championships at the DPS School, Sonepat, Haryana on Monday.
On Sunday, Haryana women blanked out Delhi 3-0. The team championships were reintroduced in the zonal event after nearly four decades.
But it was not as easy as the hosts would have thought it to be as they faced some stiff resistance from Delhi, especially after Parth Virmani levelled the score after Soumyajit Ghosh had provided the crucial lead in the opening match to beat Payas Jain in straight games.
Even for Ghosh it was not hunky-dory as Payas, despite down 6-10 in the opening game was on game point before losing his grip to lose it. That signaled Ghosh’s domination, despite being rusty, as he sewed it up soon.
But in the next tie, the promising Jeet Chandra was found wanting against experienced Parth who just dropped a game before winning it. However, Utkarsh Gupta, who had a 2-0 lead against left-handed Jubin Kumar, failed to capitalise on the advantage as he ran out of steam after them when Jubin unleashed his trademark backhands which brooked little resistance from Utkarsh.
With a 2-1 cushion, it was rather easy for Ghosh playing his reverse singles against Parth who failed to impress on his return to the table.
Probably, the lead by Haryana put pressure on him and he simply wilted with Ghosh gaining ascendancy.
In the men and women singles events qualifiers, which began this morning, only two rounds of play was possible before the men team final. Most of the tried and tested pros were in line to qualify for the main draw but the crucial third round later tonight will determine their fate.
But for the seeded players in both men and women sections, it was an off day as they would be joining the 60 and 40 qualifiers, respectively, in the second stage beginning tomorrow.
Men: Final: Haryana bt Delhi 3-1 (Soumyajit Ghosh bt Payas Jain 13-11, 11-7, 11-5, Jeet Chandra lost to Parth Virmani 4-11, 8-11, 11-8, 6-11, Jubin Kumar bt Utkarsh Gupta 7-11, 10-12, 11-3, 11-7, 11-6, Soumyajit Ghosh bt Parth Virmani 9-11, 11-8, 11-4, 11-6).