BIRMINGHAM: The Indian women table tennis team, led by Manika Batra, started its Commonwealth Games title defence in emphatic fashion, outclassing South Africa 3-0 in its opening Group 2 tie on Friday.
First on court was the women’s doubles duo of Sreeja Akula and Reeth Tennison, who combined well to beat the South African pair of Lailaa Edwards and Danisha Patel 11-7, 11-7, 11-5 to hand India the lead.
Then reigning Commonwealth Games champion Batra, who became the first Indian table tennis player to win a gold in the women’s singles in the last edition, lived upto her billing and thrashed Musfique Kalam 11-5, 11-3, 11-2 in the first singles match.
Akula then came back and scored a dominating 11-5, 11-3, 11-6 win over Patel in the second singles to seal the tie for India.
The Indian women will take on Fiji in their second group tie later in the day.


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By Dipak

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