The first day of the 2nd State Ranking Veterans Table Tennis tournament hosted by MIG Cricket Club , Bandra, witnessed good competition in the team event among 52 teams from different clubs from Mumbai, Thane and Pune, besides teams coming from Nashik, Sangli & Solapur. Looking at the overwhelming response for the team event organizers had to shift the matches of the teams in lower half to Khar Gymkhana. But, the enthusiasm of the veteran players was worth appreciating.
In the initial rounds, Century Warriors ‘B’ team led by former national level player Prakash Punjabi scored a narrow 3-2 win over strong well balanced PYC Gymkhana Pune team. For Century Warriors Satish Kulkarni won one match, besides winning the crucial doubles along with Prakash Punjabi. But, it was Prakash Punjabi, who won the final fifth match 3-2 to take his team into quarter finals. Incidentally, Prakash Punjabi owns century Warriors teams and his ‘A’ team represented by former international Sunil Babras and Top Spin specialist Sunil kelkar managed to move ahead, without much resistance from teams in their group.
Among the other well contested team matches, both PJ Hindu Gymkhana ‘A’ and ‘B’ teams narrowly lost to their opponents Gomantak S.C. and Santacruz Gymkhana ‘A’ respectively. The Hindu Gymkhana ‘A’ team represented by Premjit Rananavare and Ulhas Shirke put up a good show before going down 2-3 to well balanced side of Purshottam Markad & Prashant Machve, while their ‘B’ team represented by former international Suhas Kulkarni and his brother Jayant Kulkarni were unlucky to lose 2-3 to Gomantak Sports Club represented by Rajesh Singh & Naveen Salian. Both Rajesh & Naveen together won the crucial doubles and one man each. Gomantak S.C. team later repeated their luck with Markad winning the crucial match narrowly 3-2 against Prakkash Punjabi and Prashant Machve winning the decider of their third match also narrowly against Satish Kulkarni.
In the Veterans 40+ Men’s Singles brothers Abhay and Sanjay Mehta moved into 3rd round easily. But, there was good contest noticed between Samir Deo and Maulik Jaspara in 40+ singles, with Samir scoring a 3-2 well deserved victory over Maulik. Down 0-2 in this match, Samir rallied brilliantly to win the next three games and find his place in next round to be played tomorrow morning. After the match, Samir thanked his friends Gurcharan Singh and Samir Bhate for their timely tips after the 2nd game.
Premjit Rananavare, who had put up a good show in the team events, lost narrowly to hard hitter Anil Rasam in 49+ Veterans Singles 2nd round match. Premjit was leading 2-0 before losing next three games to Anil.
Sunday ’s individual Singles matches begin at At MIG Cricket Club from 9 am onwards. All semi finals and finals begin from 7 pm onwards