" Despite having players like Sarthak Gandhi and Sivananda Seshadri, FCI folded up to the guiles of Air India's Nishaad Shah, Sanish Ambekar, who won the third singles, and Chinmay Datar clinching the reverse fifth rubber against Seshadari 3-1. He had earlier lost to Shah 0-3."
New Delhi, Aug 17 - A young Dena Bank team put up a fantastic show and almost derailed the Railway Sports Promotion Board's (RSPB) plans of retaining their top perch in Group B in the 44th Inter-Institutional Table Tennis Championships being held at the Thyagraj Stadium here Sunday.

But old war horse Anindita Chakraborty, holding on bravely, put paid to the ambitions of Dena Bank, who ultimately lost 2-3. They should, however, finish behind RSPB in the group to qualify for the second stage of the event.

Otherwise things went according to the script as all other group toppers went through their motions to keep their No.1 position in their respective groups.

Title holders Petroleum Sports Promotion Board (PSPB) beat Central Revenue Board 3-0 and got a walkover from Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) to move into the knockout second stage.

Similarly, hosts Airports Authority of India (AAI) scored identical 3-0 triumphs over Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and Indian Audit while Air India beat ESIC 3-0 and then downed Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) 3-1 to qualify.

As for men, PSPB, RSPB, AAI, Air India, Indian Audit and Central Revenue have held on to the top position in their respective groups after two rounds. Except for top teams like PSPB, RSPB and AAI, who are expected to keep their No.1 positions in their groups, the rest may retain their positions or swap places depending on their third round performances.

Coming back to the match of the day in the women's section, Dena Bank held a 2-1 advantage when Anindita entered the scene for her reverse singles. Taking on Krithicka Sivaramakrishan, Anindita played ball with her opponent. It was a touch and go affair until the fourth as both had taken the alternative games to make it 2-2.

However, in the decider, the veteran showed her true colours, keeping the ball on the table and forcing Krithicka into errors. Taking an early lead, the Railways veteran shut out the Dena Bank player from Tamil Nadu for a 6-11, 11-8, 9-11, 11-6, 11-6 win.

This must have given enough confidence for Sukanya Bose, who earlier lost to Krithicka, to take on Frenaz Chipia, who had lost her first rubber to Anindita 3-2. Nevertheless, Frenaz put up a good fight in the second game before losing steam as Sukanya went about finishing the task methodically.

The day also witnessed another good game between Air India and Food Corporation of India (FCI) in the men's section.

Despite having players like Sarthak Gandhi and Sivananda Seshadri, FCI folded up to the guiles of Air India's Nishaad Shah, Sanish Ambekar, who won the third singles, and Chinmay Datar clinching the reverse fifth rubber against Seshadari 3-1. He had earlier lost to Shah 0-3.

With five teams figuring in both Youth Boys and Girls, clear pictures will emerge only after the round-robin league matches get over Monday.


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