India Junior and Cadet Open TT-Day 1 report

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India E Cadet team jolts India A; both enter semifinals

Indore, September 9: India A team, comprising Archana Kamath Girish and Srushti Haleangadi, took the top spot after a bit of struggle against India E, who finished behind them in Group A in the Cadet Girls section on the opening day of the 11Even Sports 2015 India Junior and Cadet Open Table Tennis Championships at the Abhay Prashal here today.

India A beat India E 3-2 and will take on Group B’s second-placed team, which is India B. Group B topper C, who made it to the semifinal, had beaten both India B and India G and they will meet India E in the second semifinal, to be played tomorrow followed by the final.

It was a bit of surprise for both Archana and Srushti to be taken the full distance in the last match of the group. Priyanka Parekh, who did the star turn for India E, must get a pat on her back as did not drop the guard despite her team trailing 1-2 after the India A pair took the doubles to go up. After Archana had given the lead for India A, Priyanka restored parity when she beat Srushti 3-1 (11-5, 5-11, 11-5, 12-10).

But the doubles pair of A team beat Priyanka and Saundarya Pathak 14-12, 7-11, 11-8, 8-11, 11-3 and when it seemed it was all over for the E team, Priyanka beat Archana 11-4, 10-12, 9-11, 11-9, 11-8 as she took the last two games to give a big shock. Nevertheless, Srushti made amends in the decider and beat Saundarya 11-5, 11-6, 6-11, 11-9 to complete an all-win record in their group.

Similarly, there was an interesting duel between India B and India G in group B which went the way of India B team, comprising Varuni Jaiswal and Diya Chaitale Parag. The B team struggled before overcoming their rivals 3-2. The doubles win for both Varuni and Diya proved to be crucial in the ultimate analysis.

Earlier, Archana beat India D’s Nikita Sarkar 11-9, 11-4, 11-8 and then it was Srushti’s turn to beat Anusha Kutmble, though with a bit of struggle, at 11-8, 11-7, 8-11, 11-8 in their singles before the two combined well in the doubles to beat Anusha and Nikita 11-7, 11-1, 11-5.

Playing Kazakhstan, Srushti opened against Zauresh Akasheva 11-3, 11-13, 11-7, 11-7 and for Archana it was rather easy against Alsu Saparova except in the third game where the Indian, who won 11-7, 11-2, 12-10, was stretched a bit. In the doubles, however, the Indian duo beat the Kazakh pair 11-6, 11-6, 11-5 to seal their fate.

In the Junior Girls section, barring one round of matches, all ties were completed and the hosts’ A team, with No.1 seed Sreeja Akula and Seraha Jacob in their ranks, had it easy against their rivals, including visitors Kazakhstan. India A beat India C 3-1 and repeated the margin of victory against Kazakhstan.

The arrival of Bangladesh team forced the organizers delay matches in both the Cadet and Junior Boys sections while Nepal team, struck up on the border owing to some riots, will miss the team events.

All the team finals are slated for Thursday.

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