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Senior National badminton championships: Karnataka to clash with AAI in men’s team final

Karnataka thumped Maharashtra 3-0 in the men’s team semifinals of the 76th Inter-Zonal-Inter-State and 85th Senior National badminton championships here on Monday. 

Karnataka will clash with Airports Authority of India (AAI) in the summit clash. AAI put it across a fighting Indian Railways 3-1 in the other semifinal. 

Karnataka had a rousing start through S. Bhargav, who dispatched Arya Bhivpathaki in a three-game thriller. 

India No.4 enhanced M. Raghu the lead for Karnataka with 24-22, 21-19 victory over Harsheel Dani in straight games. The doubles combination of Prakash Raj and Ashith Surya didn’t give any headache by closing the third match and the tie with a 21-19, 24-22 victory over Deep Rambhiya and Akshan Shetty. However, the doubles match threatened to go the distance.

The Karnataka pair saved three game points in the second game, and it required a jump smash from Prakash at 23-22 to seal the issue in Karnataka’s favour. 

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In the other men’s team last four clash, AAI clinched the first two singles matches before the doubles pair of Pruthvi Roy and Sankarprasad Udayakumar pulled one back for Railways, with a win over AAI’s Alap Mishra and P.S. Ravikrishna. 

India’s No.1 Kartikey Gulshan Kumar rallied to beat a fighting Kaushal Dharmamer 14-21, 21-15, 21-14 in the fourth match to seal the tie for AAI.

Late in the evening, AAI entered the women’s team event final as well, edging out Railways 3-2. In the other women’s team semifinal, Maharashtra piped Punjab 3-2.

The results (Semifinals):

Men: Karnataka bt Maharashtra 3-0 (S. Bhargav bt Arya Bhivpathaki 19-21, 21-16, 21-19; M. Raghu bt Harsheel Dani 24-22, 21-19; Prakash Raj & Ashith Surya bt Deep Rambhiya & Akshan Shetty 21-19, 24-22.

AAI bt Railways 3-1 (M. Tharun bt Chirag Sen 21-19, 21-16; Meiraba Maisnam bt Mithun Manjunath 21-7, 3-0 (retd.); Alap Mishra & P. S. Ravikrishna lost to Pruthvi Roy & Sankarprasad Udayakumar 26-24, 10-21, 15-21; Kartikey Gulshan Kumar bt Kaushal Dharmamer 14-21, 21-15, 21-14.

Women: Maharashtra bt Punjab 3-2 (Shruti Mundala bt Radhika Sharma 22-20, 21-12; Aalisha Naik lost to Tanvi Sharma 16-21, 21-13, 16-21; Prerana Alvekar & Mrunmayee Deshpande lost to Radhika Sharma & Tanvi Sharma 18-21, 18-21; Purva Barve bt Manya Ralhan 21-12, 21-8; Ritika Thaker & Akshya Warang bt Manya Ralhan & Liza Taank 21-14, 21-13).
AAI bt Railways 3-2 (Tanya Hemanth bt Vaidehi Choudhari 21-11, 21-17; Mansi Singh bt Riya Mookerjee 21-14, 16-21, 21-19; Tanya & Priya Devi Kongenbam lost to Vaidehi & Kanika Kanwal 17-21, 21-18, 19-21; Gayatri Rawat lost to Sriyanshi Pardeshi 6-21, 11-21; R. Arulbala & Mansi bt Bharti Pal & Shriyanshi 20-22, 21-19, 21-13).

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