The experienced Achanta Sharath Kamal set India up for a grand double in the Commonwealth Games table tennis team championship after he won both his singles matches to help the team beat Singapore 3-2 in the men’s semifinal.
Indian women had upset Singapore in the women’s final on Sunday to clinch their first team gold medal and the men could join them on the top of the podium if they win the summit clash against the winner of the second semi-final between England and Nigeria.
(Medal-filled Monday for India? Catch up on all the action on day 5 here.)
Unlike the women’s final, Indian men did not start well in the semifinal. Top player Harmeet Desai was no match against the experienced Gao Ning 11-9, 11-5, 11-8.
However, Sharath Kamal got the former champions back into the hunt with 11-5, 11-5, 11-4 hammering of Shao Poh.
Desai then paired up with G Sathiyan in the doubles tie, holding back Sharath Kamal for the possible decider.
The move worked wonders with Desai and Sathiyan showing the composure to come from behind to beat Xue Pang and Poh 8-11, 11-7, 11-9, 11-8.
Sathiyan then fought hard and even saved two match points against Gao but could not stop the former top-10 player winning 11-5, 10-12, 11-4, 13-11.
However, Sharath Kamal ensured that India had the last laugh. The 35-year-old saved two game points in the second game and fought back from a four point deficit in the third to beat Pang 11-5, 12-10, 12-10 to take India to the final.
Men’s table tennis team final: Monday, 2 PM IST.