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PSPB paddlers rule

Patna: The Petroleum Sports Promotion Board (PSPB) won both the men and women’s titles in the 75th Senior National Table Tennis Championship, at Patliputra Sports Complex here, on Thursday.

The PSPB men trounced Bengal 3-0 in the final, while their women thrashed North Bengal by a similar margin.

PSPB men, with the likes of A. Sharath Kamal, A. Amal Raj and Soumyajit Ghosh in their ranks were always favourites to win. But the PSPB women proved to be the surprise package. The North Bengal team had reached the final defeating fancied Bengal, and were expected to be the stronger side.

On Thursday when national champion K. Shamini took on the challenge of North Bengal’s Sagarika Mukherjee, it was Sagarika who won hearts.

The 16-year-old gave a scare to spoil Shamini’s reputation before the latter could overcome that phase with a fine forehand winner in the decider of the second rubber.

Shamini was somewhat slow to start off and was pushed to the corner by the young North Bengal paddler. The PSPB player brought in variety and put on display an array of brilliant strokes on both the flanks.