Indore: Punit Biswas of West Bengal defeated state mate Oishik Ghosh 4-3 in the final of the Youth Boys Under-15 to lift the cup in the Central Zone Championships at the Abhay Prashal here today.
The final had the usual excitement and some twists to the tale before Biswas overcame Ghosh in the decisive seventh game. In fact, Biswas should have won with a lot to spare, particularly after running into a 3-1 lead despite beginning on a wrong note.
The close fifth game enabled Ghosh to strike back as he narrowed down the lead and levelled 3-3, giving himself a semblance of a chance. Nevertheless, Biswas kept his faith and relentlessly attacked in the crucial seventh game. With pressure back on Ghosh, Biswas made most of his opponent’s mistakes to hasten the win.
Delhi boy Sarthak Arya, despite problems in the final, made valiant efforts to return home with the Youth Boys Under-13 crown. His opponent, Soham Mukherjee of West Bengal, was good in defence but lacked the punch in his attack. That paved the way for the Delhi paddler to overcome anxious moments in the final, including in the fourth game that gave him a 3-1 lead. Soham did well to take another game off Sarthak, but the latter never let his grip on the winner’s Cup and sealed Soham’s fate sooner than later.
Akash Rajavelu from Tamil Nadu began cautiously against Haryana’s Vatsal Duklan to gradually pick up the pace and surge into the lead. By the time the Haryana paddler came to some form, it was too late and too little for him. Even after a deuce in the game, the Tamil Nadu boy quickly claimed the last two points to win the title.
All but one semifinal in Youth Boys Under-14 went down to the wire, and Delhi’s Sarthak Arya managed to put it across Arya Kataria 4-3. But it was not before his Gujarat rival gave the Delhi paddler some torrid moments.
Leading 3-1, the Delhi boy should have wrapped it up earlier than he did. Probably, he didn’t expect Kataria to put up a good resistance and take the issue to the last game. In the decider, he got his rhythm back and stopped Katira three points short.
The rest of the semifinals failed to inspire tough contests, the winners booking no challenge from their opponents.
The group engagements in the Youth Girls in Under-11, 13, and 15 will be followed by two rounds in the main draw today evening. The remaining rounds, including the finals, will be conducted tomorrow, the concluding day.
Youth Boys U-11 Final: Akash Rajavelu (TNTTA) bt Vatsal Duklan (Har) 11-9, 11-6, 11-8, 12-10; Semifinals: Vatsal Duklan bt Samriddha Bhattacharya (Ben) 4-11, 10-12, 12-10, 11-4, 18-16; Akash Rajavelu bt S Karmeghakannan (TTTA) 7-11, 11-8, 11-8, 12-10.
Youth Boys U-13 Final: Sarthak Arya (Del) bt Soham Mukherjee (Ben) 11-8, 8-11, 11-6, 12-10, 7-11, 11-9; Semifinals: Soham Mukherjee bt Tanish Pendse (Mah) 11-9, 11-7, 11-8, 11-6; Sarthak Arya bt Arya Kataria (Guj) 11-6, 11-6, 9-11, 11-4, 5-11, 7-11, 11-8.
Youth Boys U-15 Final: Punit Biswas (Ben) bt Oishik Ghosh (Ben) 5-11, 11-7, 11-9, 11-7, 9-11, 6-11, 11-6; Semifinals: Punit Biswas bt Kushal Chopda (Mah) 11-4, 8-11, 12-10, 11-7, 11-7; Oishik Ghosh bt Priyanuj Bhattacharyya (Asm) 12-10, 11-9, 7-11, 11-9, 11-7.