New Delhi: Iran, exacting revenge for their loss in the first division final, beat India 3-2 to finish ahead in the 7-8 position team match of the champion division in the Asian Table Tennis Championships in Pattaya.
The Indians, one hoped, would beat Iran after having tasted a hard-earned success against them yesterday morning.
But in the position match, Iran turned out to be more precise and had come with a right attitude as compared to the Indians.
Noshad Alamiyan began on a right note against G.
Sathiyan, despite the latter having an upper hand having taken a comfortable 2-0 lead. But when the Iranian won the extended third game at 12-10, Sathiyan s shoulders started drooping.
With momentum going his way, Noshad made it 2-2 to take the issue to the decider which he won after three deuces for 6-11, 9-11, 12-10, 11-7, 14-12 verdict.
With everyone looking up to Soumyajit Ghosh for a revival, the national champion easily beat Nima Alamian 11-6, 11-6, 12-14, 11-5. The next man, Sanil Shetty, had it all messed up against Afsin Noroozi when he was down 1-2 after winning the first game. The Indian left-hander did his best and came back to win the fourth only to let it in the next, losing by the minimal point. The Iranian won 5-11, 11-8, 11-8, 7-11, 11-9.
It was a crucial win for Iran as Afsin was the weakest of the three players.
Again Ghosh brought India on par when he won a tough battle against Noshad 12-10, 11-13, 11-3, 7-11, 11-8, but Sathiyan failed to counter Nima in his reverse singles and lost badly (7-11, 12-10, 5-11, 6-11).
From tomorrow, the individual events begin with all Indian men s players receiving first-round byes. However, the Indian women will straightaway engage themselves with first-round matches.