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UTT: Manav does the star turn for U Mumba

India's rising table tennis star Manav Thakkar pulled U Mumba from the brink to give his side a thrilling 9-6 victory over RP-SG Mavericks Kolkata in Ultimate Table Tennis here on Thursday.
UTT: Manav does the star turn for U Mumba

Down 2-4 after the first two matches, the women's singles and the men's singles, the mixed doubles pair of Manav and world no. 11 Doo Hoi Kem from Hong King clinched 3 points against Mavericks' Sanil Shetty and Matilda Ekholm.

Manav and Kem were trailing 0-7 in the first set. But a series of attacking shots from Manav got them going, turning the tide and giving them a golden point set.

In the next two sets, they were right on top, stunning Sanil Shetty and Matilda Ekholm 11-6, 11-7 into submission.

Manav was also in his elements in the crucial reverse men's singles, getting the better of Sanil Shetty 2-1.

U Mumba needed just one point going into the final match. But Sutirtha Mukherjee did one better, surprising Manika Batra 2-1 to give her side a massive win, their second in the tournament.

Earlier, Mavericks began on a positive note with Sweden's Matilda shocking Kem 2-1. Matilda dominated the first set, easily winning it 11-5. Kem then played to her potential in the next set for a dominant 11-3 win.

The two paddlers matched shot for shot in the decider, before Matilda outwitted Kem 11-8.

In men's singles, Germany's Benedikt Duda consolidated Mavericks' lead, acing a crucial golden point win over Kirill Gerassimenko of Kazakhstan in the first set.

In the second, however, he failed to make the best of a 7-3 advantage and ended up losing on golden point. Duda went on to win the final set 11-7 to make it 4-2 for Mavericks.

Manav then entered the fray, realising that everything rested on his slender shoulders. He was at the top of his game in both the mixed doubles and the return men's singles, which was enough for U Mumba to clinch the tie.

( With inputs from IANS )

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