WB, Maharasthra begin on a strong note

WB, Maharasthra begin on a strong note

Top seeds Maharashtra and West Bengal breezed through their opening two rounds in women’s table tennis to all but book semifinal berths in the 36th National Games here on Tuesday.
Diya Chitale got the better of Gujarat’s Frenaz Chipia, 11-9, 11-6, 12-10, in the opening match to lead Maharashtra’s charge. Swastika Ghosh and Reeth Rishya Tennison then overcame Krittwika Sinha Roy and Filzahfatema Kadri to wind up their Round 1 with big smiles.
In the second round, Diya, Swastika, and Reethhrishya again emerged victorious against Telangana to take the top position in Group A.
They will face Haryana later in the night. In Group B, West Bengal rode on Sutirtha Mukherjee’s two wins to sail past Tamil Nadu, the first hurdle.
Ayhika Mukherjee scored the other win, but Prapti Sen lost in between, triggering mild alarm bells in the camp.
In Round 2 too, West Bengal had to dig deep to subdue Karnataka 3-2. Suthirtha won her first match but suffered a surprise defeat in her second. Ayhika won, but Mouma Das lost to make it 2-2. Akhiya, however, put up a brave and calm display to down Kushi V and come out unscathed.
In the men’s competition, hosts and favourites Gujarat (Group A) started off on a winning note. They beat Haryana 3-0, with local boy Harmeet Desai, buoyed by adoring crowds, leading from the front.
The Commonwealth Games gold medallists (team) faced a tricky opponent in the form of the experienced Soumyajit Ghosh and had to deploy an all-out attacking game to come out safely.
 Manav Thakkar and Manush Shah, then, got the better of Wesley Do Roserio and Jubin Kumar, respectively, to put Gujarat 3-0 up.