Reserve Bank of India (RBI), down 0-2 in the second round of their Group C match, scored a come-from-behind victory over Delhi ‘A’ as RBI won 3-2 to more or less seal their place in the main draw of the 26th Masters National Table Tennis Championships at the Abhay Prashal, Indore.
The triumph for RBI in Men Team 40+ category was possible when their players really showed great determination to win the tie which took as many as 21 out of a possible 25 games. The turnaround for RBI happened when their ‘weak’ player, Dheeraj Kumar Arora, brushed aside their strong players—Mukul Boro and Souvik Roy—losses to put RBI on the path of recovery when he defeated Abhishek Maini 11-7, 9-11, 9-11, 11-9, 11-6.
This was the trigger for RBI as, playing his reverse singles, Souvik Roy blanked out Rahul Chopra 14-12, 11-7, 11-6 to bring the team score on level. In the deciding rubber, Mukul Boro overcame Manav Berry 14-12, 4-11, 11-9, 11-2 to make it a sweet win for the institution.
Similarly, the other three matches that attracted attention in the same category was the one between Maharashtra B and Karnataka A which the latter won 3-2, while in the other match, Maharashtra C beat Delhi B 3-2. In the third match, Haryana B overcame a tough Himachal Pradesh A 3-2 to strengthen their position for qualification to the second stage.
The other teams that looked like taking their second-stage berths included Gujarat A, Madhya Pradesh A, Haryana A, West Bengal B and Rajasthan A.
In Men’s 50+ team event, Delhi A, Maharashtra A, Telangana A, Maharashtra C, West Bengal A, Maharashtra B, Goa B and West Bengal B went through the motions in the second round rather easily as they beat their opponents with identical 3-0 verdicts.
In Men’s 60+, Delhi A struggled before putting it across Madhya Pradesh C with a 3-1 victory while West Bengal C, too, had a similar result against Chhattisgarh. But for these two matches, teams like Madhya Pradesh A, Karnataka A, Maharashtra A had easy 3-0 wins over their rivals.
In Women’s 50+, Delhi A defeated Rajasthan A 3-1 but not before the latter managed to take a tie off them. Gujarat A and Maharashtra C, too, conceded a rubber each before overcoming their opponents, Goa A and Madhya Pradesh B, respectively, with 3-1 victories. However, hosts Madhya Pradesh’s A team beat Andhra Pradesh A 3-0 in their first-round matches.
In Women’s 60+ section, Madhya Pradesh A defeated Maharashtra A in their group A match. The 3-1 verdict for the hosts was not a surprise as the team had in its ranks former national champion Rita Jain, who did the trick for Madhya Pradesh,
A former inauguration of the championships was held in the afternoon with state sports minister Jitu Patwari as the chief guest with other TTFI and MPTTA officials on the dais.