Defending champions India, led by star paddler Manika Batra, crashed out of the women’s table tennis team event at the Commonwealth Games after losing 3-2 to Malaysia in the quarterfinals in Birmingham on Saturday.
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After registering a comfortable win in the group stage match earlier in the day, the Indian women’s team lost to Malaysia in the last eight stage. Batra won one singles match and lost the other as the Indian team made an early exit from the tournament.
India were on the back foot after the pair of Raith Tennyson and Srija Akula lost the opening doubles match 1-3 (7-1, 1 6-11, 11-5, 6-11) before Batra made it 3- 2 equalized the competition. (11-8, 11-5, 8-11, 9-11, 11-3) win over Young Ho in singles.
Akola then made amends for the doubles loss as she defeated Lee Hsien Alice Chang 3-0 (11-6, 11-6, 11-9). But Batra failed to seal the tie for India as she lost 3-0 (6-11, 3-11, 9-11) to Karen Line in the crucial fourth match as Malaysia made another comeback in the tie.
The Malaysian capitalized on the momentum as Young Ho defeated Tenson 3-2 (10-12, 11-8, 6-11, 11-9, 11-9) to break Indian hearts in a tight decider. .
Earlier in the day, the Indian women’s team defeated Guyana 3-0 in a Group 2 match.
The women’s team, defending the title they won in Gold Coast four years ago, got off to a winning start to their campaign on Friday after defeating South Africa and Fiji by identical 3-0 margins.
On the second day, the pair of Akula and Tennyson emerged first and defeated Natalie Cummings and Chelsea Edghal 11-5, 11-7, 11-7 to give India a 1-0 lead.
Then, Commonwealth Games champion Batra, who became the first Indian paddler to win gold in women’s singles in the previous edition, defeated Thoria Thomas in straight games 11-1, 11-3, 11-3. .
In another women’s singles match, Tennyson battled hard to register an 11-7, 14-12, 13-11 win over Chelsea Edghill, who put in a brilliant performance. His win ensured that India won the tie convincingly.
The Indian men’s team continued their impressive run with a 3-0 win over Northern Ireland to register their second straight win.
Veteran Achanta Sharath Kamal partnered with Harmeet Desai to give India a 1-0 lead in the men’s doubles by beating James Skelton and Owen Cathcart 11-3, 9-11, 11-6, 11-1. .
Sunil Shetty then extended India’s lead by beating Paul McCreary 11-5, 15-13, 11-6.
But Harmeet Desai had to dig deep before defeating Catch Kart 5-11, 11-9, 12-14, 11-3, 11-6 in the second singles match.
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