Puneri Paltan stun Dabang Delhi

Puneri Paltan stun Dabang Delhi

FINE SHOW G Sathiyan of Dabang Delhi celebrates his win over Harmeet Desai of Puneri Paltan on Thursday.

Puneri Paltan stunned defending champions Dabang Delhi 8-7 to win the season-opening contest of Ultimate Table Tennis at the Thyagaraj stadium on Thursday.

The contest went to the last match -- the second women’s singles. Sabine Winter and Bernadette Szocs won a game each to take the contest and the tie to the decider. Under pressure, Winters was at her attacking best, winning 11-5, 7-11, 11-9.

Earlier, Delhi opened their campaign on a false note when Krittwika Sinha Roy went down fighting to recently crowned Commonwealth champion Ayhika Mukherjee 10-11, 6-11, 10-11.  Delhi captain G Sathiyan got the match on an even keel in a rematch of Commonwealth Championships final. Sathiyan pulled off 11-3, 9-11, 11-9 revenge victory over Paltan captain Harmeet Desai in a thrilling encounter.

Sathiyan, who had lost to Desai in Cuttack, came out all guns blazing and wrapped up the opening game with fast-paced strokes and accurate placements. Desai was not to let it go easy, though. He fought back in the second to open a 6-1 lead. And though Sathiyan, World No. 24, levelled it at 8-8, Desai powered his way to make it a game-all. 

The decider witnessed absorbing rallies. It went neck and neck till 8-8 before Sathiyan’s remarkable returns earned him two match points at 10-8. He lost one before closing out the contest.

Sathiyan then joined hands with Bernadette to mute the challenge of Ayhika and experienced Chuang Chih-Yuan from Chinese Taipei 11-7, 11-6, 11-7 in the mixed doubles. 

But Chuang got Paltan back into the lead in the second men’s singles by taking away the first two games off Swedish debutant Jon Persson. In fact, Chuang fought back from 3-6 down to win the first game. He was on fire in the second, and though Persson finally got some rhythm going for him, he couldn’t stop Chuang from sealing the game. The Swede then won the final game for a 7-11, 8-11, 11-9 scoreline. 

Results: Dabang Delhi lt to Puneri Paltan 7-8 (Krittwika Sinha Roy lt to Ayhika Mukherjee 10-11, 6-11, 10-11; Sathiyan Gnanasekaran bt Harmeet Desai 11-3, 9-11, 11-9; Sathiyan/ Bernadette Szocs bt Chuang Chih-Yuan/ Ayhika Mukherjee 11-6, 11-7, 11-7; Jon Persson lt to Chaung  Chih-Yuan 7-11, 8-11, 11-9; Bernadette Szocs lt to Sabine Winter 5-11, 11-7, 9-11).