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PSPB paddlers set for a double

PSPB paddlers set for a double
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Sports Promotion Board PSPB men joined their women paddlers in the team finals of the AAI 48th All India InterInstitutional Championships, blanking...

Coimbatore: Sports Promotion Board (PSPB) men joined their women paddlers in the team finals of the AAI 48th All India Inter-Institutional Championships, blanking out Dena Bank 3-0, at the Bharathiar University Indoor Hall here on Thursday.

Friday’s summit clash tomorrow will see PSPB clashing with Railway Sports Promotion Board (RSPB) who beat AAI 3-1.

Petroleum was a foregone conclusion against Dena Bank but what surprised everyone was the way Anirban Ghosh emerged as the saviour for RSPB, winning both his singles and before that Anirban Nandi providing the impetus through a hard-fought win over young Ronit Bhanja.

Earlier, PSPB women cleaned up Railways Sports Promotion Board (RSPB) 3-1 in the first semi-finals while hosts Airports Authority of India (AAI) downed Reserve Bank of India (RBI), also by a similar margin.

PSPB had a nice flow going in their favour when Mouma Das and Manika Batra gave a comfortable 2-0 lead as they beat Shruti Amrute and Sagarika Mukherjee. But the Railways veteran, Anindita Chakraborty, stopped their free-flowing movement with a shock defeat of Pooja Sahasrabudhe.

The latter was unable to keep the ball on the table while Anindita did exactly that to outsmart her PSPB rival. Pooja did start suspiciously before winning the opening game 16-14.

Probably, it was there she lost her steam as well as motivation when Anindita equalled with ease. With a new-found confidence, the Railways paddler took the next game rather easily before nailing it in the fifth to take the rubber.

But Manika, who earlier beat Sagarika, beat left-hander Shruti to put her team in the final.

AAI had just Ayhika Mukherjee to tackle because RBI was too reliant on her singles. Unfortunately for the latter, she lost both her singles and things fell into place for the hosts.

First, Surbhi Patwari put it across Ayhika and Mallika Bhandarkar accounted for Amrutha Pushpak before Nikhat Banu pulling one down through a win over Selenadeepthi. But when Mallika beat Ayhika 3-1 in the fourth rubber, it was all over bar the shouting for RBI.

In women quarterfinals, it was as easy as it can get for PSPB against Air India, Airports Authority of India against Indian Audit and Reserve Bank of India against Central Revenue who all won with 3-0 verdicts to take their appointed places.

However, the Railways had to work really hard, thanks to a determined Dena Bank who stretched them fully before RSPB winning the tie 3-2.

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