Sharath-Amalraj march into final

Achanta Sharath Kamal and Anthony Amalraj assured India of its first table tennis medal at the 20th Commonwealth Games by reaching the men’s doubles final here on Friday.

The duo blanked Singapore’s Yang Zi and Zhan Jian 11-7 12-10 11-3 in the semifinals.
Sharath and Amalraj will meet the Singapore pair of Gao Ning and Li Hu in the gold medal match later in the day. Sharath had won the doubles gold alongside Subhajit Saha at the Delhi Games four years ago.

In the men’s singles, Sharath reached the quarterfinals beating Nigeria veteran Segun Toriola 11-5 11-6 11-7 11-4. The World No 44 next faces Paul Drinkhall of England.
Also entering the quarters was Soumyajit Ghosh. Ghosh defeated World No 76 Li Hu 11-5 2-11 11-8 11-8 11-9 in the third round.

The 129th-ranked Indian will take on the talented Liam Pitchford of England in the quarterfinals.

“It was a good match for me, something which will give me a lot of confidence going into the quarterfinals. I have never played against Liam. He is a good player and we will see how it goes,” Ghosh told PTI.

India’s foreign coach Peter Engel added: “Ghosh played very well. Li Hu was tense and Ghosh capitalised on that. We were also lucky for the first time in this tournament.”

Ghosh’s team-mate Harmeet Desai, however, went down to Zhan Jian in four straight games. Jian won 14-12, 11-6, 12-10, 13-11.

In women’s doubles third round, Shamini Kumaresan and Madhurika Patkar won their third round doubles match but Ankita Das and Poulomi Ghatak bowed out. Australia’s Zhenhua Dederko and Ziyu Zhang beat Shamini and Madhurika 3-2. Ankita and Poulomi also lost 2-3 to Malaysian pair of Sock Khim NG and Lee Wei Beh.

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