City paddlers stun Maharashtra
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Delhi women paddlers caused the biggest upset of the tournament with a hard-fought 3-2 victory over defending champions Maharashtra A to qualify for the final of the National Table Tennis Championships.
Delhi take on PSPB in the summit clash on Thursday with the latter defeating Tamil Nadu 3-0 in the other semifinal.
In the men's section, Petroleum Sports Promotion Board, led by Achanta Sharath Kamal, routed Haryana 3-0 in the semifinals to book a berth in the summit clash at the Balbir Juneja Indoor Stadium .The winner of the semifinal match between Gujarat and West Bengal will join PSPB in the final.
Delhi's turnaround in the women's edge-of-the-seat semifinal was made possible by Neha Aggarwal, who won both her matches against Divya Deshpande and Mamata Prabhu, the crucial fifth rubber after Maharashtra had rallied to equal at 2-2. Neha beat Mamata 11-7, 13-11, 15-13 to seal the fate of Maharashtra.
Manika began on an excellent note against an off-colour Mamata Prabhu and Neha beat Divya to put Delhi 2-0 up. But Sanya Sehgal lost to Prajakta Tipale and Manika surrendered to Divya to give Maharashtra a semblance of a fight. However, Neha shut out the challenge from Mamata to put Delhi through.
As for the formidable PSPB, Ankita Das, Madhurika Patkar and K Shamini made it a one-sided affair against Tamil Nadu.