Smashers edge Yoddhas in thriller

Smashers edge Yoddhas in thriller

Smashers edge Yoddhas in thriller
Kim Song I clinched the last match to help Dabang Smashers pip Oilmax Stag Yoddhas 14-13 and strengthen their hold on a knockout spot in the CEAT Ultimate Table Tennis (UTT) at the Thyagaraj Stadium on Tuesday.

With the tie levelled at 12-12, North Korean ace Kim edged out Russian Polina Mikhailova in the tense third game 11-4, 6-11, 11-9 to seal the tie in favour of Smashers.

Earlier, World No 110 G Sathiyan pulled off a 11-2, 11-7, 6-11 victory over Croatian world No 75 Tomislav Pucar of Yoddhas in the men’s singles.

However, Manika Batra scored an upset 11-9, 11-9, 4-11 victory over world No 19 Kim in the women’s singles to level scores at 3-3 for Yoddhas.

In the mixed doubles, Yoddhas’ pair of Nigeria’s Quadri Aruna and Manika rallied to beat A Amalraj and Tetyana Bilenko 10-11, 11-9, 11-9  to hand their team a 5-4 lead.

Kou Lei of Smashers then took the first two games off Tomislav Pucar before the Croatian rallied to win the third game in the men’s singles as the teams levelled at 6-6.

Ukrainian World No 56 Bilenko shocked Hong Kong World No 28 Doo Hoi Kem of Yoddhas 11-6, 11-8, 10-11 to put Smashers up 8-7.

Portuguese Marcos Freitas extended Smashers’ lead to 11-7 as he thumped Jubin Kumar 11-6, 11-6, 11-2 in the men’s singles.

Kim bounced back from her earlier defeat to beat Madurika Patkar of Smashers 11-9, 11-5, 11- to bring Yoddhas back into the race at 10-11.

Quadri then scored a 11-8, 8-11, 11-10 win over Freitas to help Yoddhas level scores going into the last match.

The league now shifts to Mumbai from Wednesday for the final leg.
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