Mumbai : Han Ying won both her matches and Li Ping held his nerves when it mattered most as Shaze Challengers beat Dabang Smashers TTC 14-9 in the second semifinal of the inaugural Ultimate Table Tennis ( UTT) at the NSCI in Mumbai on Saturday.
Shaze Challengers will lock horns with Falcons TTC in the final on Sunday.
The team that secures 14 points first is declared winner in the knockouts. Shaze Challengers had edged out Dabang Smashers 15-12 in the League phase.
Portuguese world No 14 Marcos Freitas, a southpaw, put Dabang Smashers ahead with a 2-1 win over attacking 85-ranked Soumyajit Ghosh, who pulled back the third game in the men’s singles (Foreign v Indian) to hand Shaze Challengers one point.
In-form China-born German world No 9 Han Ying made it 4-2 for Shaze Challengers as she brushed aside Madhurika Patkar 3-0 in the women’s singles (Foreign v Indian).
Next up was mixed doubles (Foreign/Indian pair) and the clash saw Soumyajit Ghosh and his partner Petrissa Solja rally to beat A Amalraj and Tetyana Bilenko 2-1 to extend Shaze Challengers’ lead to 6-3.
Croatian Andrej Gacina then edged past China-born Ukraine Kou Lei 2-1 in a closely-fought men’s singles (Foreign player category) clash to further Shaze Challengers lead to 8-4.
The experienced Han Ying followed up it up by winning her second match of the day to strengthen Shaze Challengers’ grip on the tie at 10-5, as she rallied to beat North Korean world No 19 Kim Song I 2-1 in the women’s singles (Foreign player category).
G Sathiyan pulled off a surprise win over China-born Qatar Li Ping 2-1 in the men’s singles (Foreign v Indian) to hand Dabang Smashers their second win of the day. Shaze Challengers, however, continued to lead at 11-7.
Kim Song I (Dabang Smashers) returned to table to thump Mouma Das 2-1 in the women’s singles (Foreign v Indian), but the 135-ranked Indian won the close third game to help Shaze Challengers take a step closer to victory at 12-9.