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ShazA? Challengers edge out Dabang Smashers TTC 15-12 in a thriller

ShazA? Challengers edged out Dabang Smashers TTC 15-12 in a thrilling tieAon Day 2 of the CEAT Ultimate Table Tennis (UTT) at the Nehru Indoor Stadium inAChennaiAon Friday.

Ying Han of Shaze Challengers in action during the Tie 2 match of the CEAT Ultimate Table Tennis

Portuguese world No. 14 Marcos Freitas put Dabang Smashers TTC ahead with a 2-1 victory (11-3,A11-6, 10-11) over Indian Soumyajit Ghosh in the menas singles (Foreign vs Indian) clash.

Left-handed Freitas jumped to a 5-2 lead in the opening game before closing it out in aggressiveAstyle. Ghosh came back strongly in the second game and he even led 4-3 before Freitas beat backAthe Indianas challenge to race to a 9-6 lead before sealing the game.

Marcos Freitas Captain of Dabang Smashers TTC in action during the Tie 2 match of the CEAT Ultimate Table Tennis

Freitas broke away to a 5-3 lead in the third game but Ghosh clawed back to 9-9 and held his nerveAto earn a point for his team, ShazA? Challengers, by winning the third game.

Womenas world No. 9 Han Ying brushed aside an error-prone Madhurika Patkar of Dabang SmashersATTC 3-0 (11-6, 11-4, 11-6) to give ShazA? Challengers a slight edge on points (4-2).

Ying, a China-born German, was at her defensive best while Madhurika lapsed into a series ofAunforced errors in the first two games and didnat quite recover thereafter.

ChallengersThe pairing of Petrissa Solja & Soumyajit Ghosh of ShazA? Challengers beat Kou Lei & MadhurikaAPatkar of Dabang Smashers TTC 3-0 (11-9, 11-8, 11-4) in the mixed doubles (Foreign-Indian pair) toAfurther extend their sideas grip on the tie by taking a 7-2 lead on points.

Kou Lei of Dabang Smashers TTC beat Andrej Gacina of ShazA? Challengers 2-1 (11-9, 11-9, 9-11) toAbring Dabang Smashers TTC back into the contest in the fourth match, menas singles (Foreign playerAcategory).

World No. 9 Han Ying won her second match of the day for ShazA? Challengers.AAfter dropping the opening game to North Korean world No. 19 Kim Song I, YingAwon the next two in the womenas singles for foreign players for a 6-11, 11-9, 11-10 in what was a nail-biting finish in the decider to extend Challengersas overall lead toA10-5.

Andrej Gacina, a top-50 player, was stretched by Smashers’ Anthony Amalraj before theACroat pulled through 2-1 (10-11, 11-2, 11-9) in a tight menas singles (India v Foreign)Aencounter to extend Challengersas lead to 12-6.

But Kim Song I, in her second match, thrashed her opponent Mouma Das 3-0 (11-8, 11-8, 11-6) inAwomenas singles (Foreign v Indian) to help Smashers stage a late recovery, reducingAChallengers’ lead to 12-9.

Freitas Gers the Challengers Back on Track

It was then for skipper Freitas to beat China-born Qatari Li Ping 2-1 (7-11, 11-6, 11-5) inAthe menas singles for foreign players to bring his team right back into the contestAby reducing their deficit to 11-13 going into the dayas finalAmatch.

However, Challengers’APetrissa Solja won her opening game 11-5 against UkrainianATetyana Bilenko in the womenas singles for foreigners. Bilenko won the next 11-6 but Solja won theAfinal game 11-10 to hand Challengers a victorious 15-12 verdict.

On Saturday, Oilmax-Stag Yoddas will take on DHFL Maharashtra United.

Follow the author on twitter – @gavkadam

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