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Winning start for Bengal

Calcutta: Bengal began on a winning note and are virtually through to the second stage matches of the Senior National Table Tennis Championships, at the Patliputra Sports Complex, in Patna, on Tuesday.

The men’s team defeated Tripura 3-0 in the first round before winning against Punjab by a similar margin. North Bengal defeated Kerala 3-0 in the first round and won 3-1 over Chhattisgarh in the second.

The women’s team beat Pondicherry and Andhra Pradesh 3-0 in the first and second rounds, respectively. North Bengal, too, won 3-0 over Goa and Maharashtra. In the third round, they beat Karnataka 3-0.

Holders Delhi topped Group A and have been drawn to meet a tough Kerala in the pre-quarterfinals. Similarly, Chandigarh, finishing as the second team, have an arduous task against the second-seeded PSPB.

The Airport Authority of India, who topped group F, will meet Rajasthan, finishing behind Tamil Nadu in group D.

However, the matches between Assam and North Bengal will be interesting despite the latter’s stature. Tamil Nadu will run into Odisha, while Maharashtra A are slated to take on Andhra Pradesh in the pre-quarters.