Indian men outplayed Australia while the women fought hard to beat Nigeria on day two of the World Team Table Tennis Championships here on Tuesday.
The men’s team eased past Australia 3-0 in Group F and women got the better of Portugal 3-1 in Group G.
The Indian teams play Iran and Turkey respectively in the next round. Sharath Kamal, India’s highest-ranked player at 39, defeated David Powell 11-9, 11-7, 7-11, 11-8 in the opening singles.
Reigning national champion Sanil Shetty was stretched to five games by Hu Heming. The southpaw eventually prevailed 9-11, 11-9, 13-11, 8-11, 11-3. Harmeet Desai gave India their second win in as many games by getting past Kane Townsend 11-6, 11-7, 11-7 in the third singles.
In the women’s category, Manika Batra gave her team the early advantage with a 7-11, 11-6, 11-5, 11-7 win over Rita Fins. Ana Neves then shocked the experienced Shamini Kumaresan 11-6, 5-11, 11-9, 11-6 for Portugal’s fightback.
Shamini faced the heat again in the reverse singles after Madhurika Patkar comfortably won the third singles against Leila Oliviera 11-7, 11-5, 11-8.
Facing Rita, Shamini staged a remarkable comeback to clinch the decider 9-11, 7-11, 11-5, 12-10, 11-6.