From a Reporter
Shillong, Feb 6: The Indian men marched into the last-four round of the 12th South Asian Games 2016 table tennis team event after beating both Bangladesh and Nepal here today at the Jawaharlal Nehru Indoor Sports Hall.
Top Indian padder G Sathiyan was the first among his team mates to take the floor and he beat Mahbub Billah in three straight games. Sanil Shetty then defeated Mash Choudhury in four games, while Sudhanshu Grover took the same amount of time to overcome Mohammed Zaved.
India are in the three-tion Group A. The two top teams from each group progress to the semifils, meaning that India’s later win over Nepal confirmed their place. To take on the Nepal unit, India relied on Devesh Karia, tiol champion A Amalraj and Sudhanshu Grover.
Amalraj took some time to get fully warmed up as he lost the opening game to Shiv Sundhar Gathe 2-11 before bouncing back to take the contest with three straight games.
Over in the four-team Group B, Sri Lanka were guaranteed a semis berth with two victories, though their fil position in the table will only be confirmed after tomorrow’s third round.
The Lankans’ second round contest against Pakistan was a tight affair, with the former taking the opening two matches, but the latter fought back to win the third. Sri Lanka’s Udaya Rasinghe was then involved in a marathon five-game match against Pakistan’s Asim Qureshi, with the former winning it to great applause.
Earlier, Sri Lanka had beaten Maldives 3-0. Pakistan had one victory to its credit, 3-0 over Afghanistan. The latter also played the only match of the day that went the distance - the round two battle against Maldives. The islanders took the first match with ease through Moosa Munsif, but then lost the next two to Afghanistan’s Bakhtiyari Mostafa and Hosainpoor Behrooz. Munsif then squared the contest by taking down Bakhtiyari, leaving Zeesth seem to overcome Mohamadian Hossain in an exciting five-game match.
The men’s third round matches will start tomorrow at 11:30am.