| PRADIP: Impressive
Hyderabad: There was good news for Bengal in football, table tennis and rowing even as boxers suffered a bad day at the National games Tuesday.
The football team beat Maharashtra 3-2 to qualify for the semi-finals and the menís and womenís table tennis teams reached a step further by making it to the title-round.
In rowing, Bengal won the lightweight double scull silver, but the boxers, men and women, failed to post a single win in the pre-quarter finals.
In spite of posting a win, Bengal failed to secure top place in the group, finishing second behind Services on goal difference. They will meet Punjab in Thursdayís semi-final. Services upset Goa 1-0 to book their last-four berth.
Kaushik Prasad, Pradip Indu and skipper Dipendu Biswas struck for Bengal, while Anthony Fernandes scored both goals for Maharashtra.
Maharashtra showed some urgency in the beginning but Bengal took the lead in the 20th minute. Kaushik unleashed a spectacular drive from 35 yards out after latching onto a through from midfield.
Maharashtra replied five minutes later as an unmarked Fernandes received a loose ball on the right and tapped home from close. Even before the cheers in the Maharashtra camp had died down, Dipendu set up Pradip, and the latter found the mark from outside the box.
Dipendu made it 3-1 in the 84th minute, following a pass from Pradip before Fernandes scored his second goal two minutes later.
In table tennis, the Bengal menís team faced stiff resistance from Andhra Pradesh, before pulling off a 3-2 win with Arup Basak playing a stellar role. The women drubbed Maharashtra 3-0.
In the menís semi-final, Shibaji Dutta fought hard to post an 11-8, 11-13, 11-8, 3-11, 11-9 against Jayanth Chandra before Arup outplayed G. Jitendra 11-7, 11-6, 11-4. But Andhra fought back as Somnath Ghosh beat Ranabir Das 11-8, 11-9, 14-12 and Jitendra made it 2-2 with a 15-13, 5-11, 13-11, 11-7 win over Shibaji.
Arup the veteran, however, kept his cool and settled the issue with an easy 11-8, 11-6, 11-5 victory over Jayanth.
In waterpolo leagues matches, Bengal women trounced Punjab, while the men humbled Manipur 16-1.
There was nothing to write home about in boxing as Bengal participants failed to notch up a single win on a day dominated by the Services golvemen.
In the menís section, flyweight Safdar Khan gave a walkover to Lal Dinsanga of Mizoram and lightwelter Safiul Alam lost to V. Harikrishna of Andhra when the referee stopped the contest.
Lightmiddle J. Kerkette conceded his bout against Mukesh Yadav of Uttar Pradesh and in the womenís section, lightfly Tultul Das bowed to Sumitra Chettri of Sikkim.