Chennai Lions beat Puneri Paltan 8-3 in the second semifinal on Saturday to earn a place in Sunday's final against Goa Challengers.
Benedikt Duda gave Chennai an early 3-0 lead before Yangzi Liu made it 5-1 in their favour. Sharath Kamal and Manush Shah's duel then took centrestage as Pune looked to stay in the tie but Sharath Kamal finished the matter with four games still left in the tie. Chennai will face the Harmeet Desai-led Goa Challengers in the final on Sunday.
As it happened:
- 29 July 2023 3:27 PM GMT
Sharath races to a 6-1 lead in the second game. Looks like he's had enough and wants to finish this.
Tie Result: Chennai Lions 7-2 Puneri Paltan TT
Benedikt Duda 3-0 Omar Assar (11-5, 11-7, 11-6)
Yangzi Liu 2-1 Hana Matelova (3-11, 11-8, 11-7)
Sharath/Yangzi 2-1 Manush/Hana (11-4, 9-11, 11-6)
- 29 July 2023 3:24 PM GMT
With his back against the wall, Manush and Pune bring out their A-game! Manush takes the first game 11-5. But Manush still needs to win both his other games for this tie to go into the last women's singles tie.
The fun part is, Pune's Archana stands a decent chance of claiming a 3-0 win as Sutirtha is feeling unwell. Could there be a miracle at the Balewadi tonight?
- 29 July 2023 3:16 PM GMT
Liu's record of 2-1 wins remains intact! She again comes back from a game down, this time with Sharath Kamal by her side, to give Chennai a 2-1 win in the mixed doubles match.
One more game to Chennai and this night is over for everyone! Sharath Kamal vs Manush Shah coming up in men's singles with Manush needed to pull off a miracle to keep Pune fighting.
Meanwhile, Archana is playing a practice game on the sidelines. Perhaps she won't even be called upon to play today, she too needs Manush to pull off something special.
- 29 July 2023 3:00 PM GMT
Sharath Kamal and Yangzhi Liu are threatening to end tonight's tie very very early. They run away with the first game 11-4 to give Chennai a 6-1 lead. Just two more games needed for a win in the tie.
Manush and Hana come back in the second game, as Sharath's adventurous smashes travel long.
- 29 July 2023 2:49 PM GMT
Yangzi Liu has won all her matches at the 2023 UTT by a margin of 2-1. Staying true to script, she comes back from a game down to win the women's singles match and increase Chennai's lead.
Time for Sharath and Manush to enter the fray. They play against each other in the mixed doubles match first.
- 29 July 2023 2:39 PM GMT
Hana Matelova gives Pune a reason to cheer, taking a game off Liu. Liu comes back strongly in the second game though, takes it 11-8.
- 29 July 2023 2:26 PM GMT
No joy for Omar Assar. A straight games win for Duda gives Chennai a huge lead after the first of 5 matches for the day. Yangzi Liu will now look to pull Chennai even further. Hana Matelova takes the centrestage as Pune face an early test of will.