Commonwealth Games 2022: Indian men's table tennis beat Nigeria to enter final; assures medal
Sharath Kamal slayed world number 15 Aruna Quadri as defending champions India rode past Nigeria 3-0 to make another final at the Commonwealth Games.
Indian table tennis legend Sharath Kamal slayed world number 15 Aruna Quadri as defending champions India rode past Nigeria 3-0 to make another final at the Commonwealth Games. G Sathiyan and Harmeet Desai won the opening doubles tie against Olajide Omotayo and Abiodun Bode in straight games to set the tone for the tie.
It was the 40-year-old Sharath who won the crucial second singles match against Quadri to provide a big advantage to India. The final scoreline read 11-9, 7-11, 11-8, 15-13 in favour of the Indian.
It was an intense battle between the two rivals who know each other's game inside out. Sharath employed a high-risk strategy that helped him win the first game. The Nigerian bounced back to level the match before Sharath upped his game in the third with some crisp backhand winners.
The fourth set turned out to be the most entertaining for spectators at the NEC arena. Long and fast rallies had everyone on the edge of their seats. The best rally (19 shots) of the match came late in the game with Quadri winning it for 9-8.
Sharath used the body smash as his get out of jail card and managed to make it 10-10. The Indian had the last laugh as Quadri netted a back hand.
India's highest ranked player Sathiyan then battled past Omotayo 11-9, 4-11, 11-6, 11-8 to complete a fine victory.