India’s Anthony Amalraj and Romania’s Elizabeth Samara posted nerve-wracking victories in the CEAT Ultimate Table Tennis Powered by Kellogg’s here on Saturday to lift Maharashtra United from the bottom of the table to the second position.
Down 2-7 in the tie against table toppers Dabang Smashers, captain Joao Monteiro of Portugal led the fightback, scoring an upset 2-1 win over world No. 27 Yoshida Masaki.
Amalraj then rode on the momentum to pull off a sensational 3-0 win over Belgium’s Cedric Nuytinck.
Samara, however, was the star performer for United, posting victories in both her singles matches. The World No. 19 first overcame 17-year-old Adriana Diaz of Puerto Rico 2-1 and then beat local favorite and India’s poster girl Manika Batra 3-0 to give United a well-deserved 12-9 win.
Earlier, cheered on by a houseful crowd, world No. 28 Mori set the ball rolling for the Smashers, trouncing India’s Madhurika Patkar 3-0 (11-4, 11-8, 11-9) in a one-sided contest.
Sathiyan then picked up a crucial point against a much higher-ranked Kristian Karlsson and set up a 3-0 victory in the mixed doubles match along with Mori.
Playing the last match of the day, with the team scores tied 9-9, Manika started confidently but fumbled during crucial points to lose her way. She lost the first game on golden point and simply couldn’t find her way back into the contest.