The Indian mens team overcame the shock opening loss of their best ranked player Achanta Sharath Kamal to advance to their second successive final of the Commonwealth Table tennis championships in Delhi. Indias talisman of the day would be 19-year-old Soumyajit Ghosh,who first drew the hosts level against a higher ranked opponent in Anthony Baggaley and then sealed the 3-2 win with a straight games victory against Matthew Walker.
Samuel Walker gave England the surprise lead against Sharath,a player ranked 432 places above him,making the most of his opponents lack of movement in a 12-10,4-11,12-10,11-9 win. Trailing 0-1,Ghosh was under pressure against Englands best ranked player and two time Commonwealth gold medalist Andrew Baggaley. But the defending National Champion was clearly up to the task as he dispatched Baggaley 11-7,11-8,11-4.
All of Ghoshs work seemed to have come to naught when Harmeet Desai went down to Daniel Reed 5-11 11-9 9-11 11-5 7-11. Citing current form Desai had been picked by coach Kamlesh Mehta ahead of the higher ranked Anthony Amalraj. And while Desai did indeed produce moments of brilliance there were also some poor errors at key moments.
Playing the reverse singles,Sharath Kamal shrugged off his early lethargy and brought India level 2-2 with a straight games 11-9 11-7 11-7 win against an off colour Baggaley. Ghosh then took India to the final with another clinical display against Walker,winning 11-7 12-10 11-6. While the Siliguri paddler was more consistent than his opponent,he has a reliable offensive tool in his attacking forehand which will undoubtedly come in use in the gold medal clash against Singapore.
The Indian womens team meanwhile had to be satisfied with bronze after they went down 2-3 to England. Playing without national champion K Shamini,who cited low confidence,India went down 0-2 with Mouma Das losing 5-11 11-9 12-14 11-6 7-11 to Kelly Sibley and Madhurika Patkar being crushed by Englands top ranked player Joanna Parker 5-11 6-11 7-11. Neha Aggarwal pulled one back with a 11-7 11-9 8-11 9-11 11-9 victory over Hannah Hicks while Mouma Das forced a decider with a 11-4 11-6 11-3 win over Parker. Sibley however overcame Patkar 11-4 2-11 9-11 6-11.