Nagpur: In the best-of-five-match final in the West Zone Badminton Championships here, Maharashtra were Down 0-2 but, the hosts gave a brilliant fightback in their next all the three doubles matches to register a memorable victory.
It was Akshay Dewalkar, an international shuttler’s persistence approach to put his badminton experience under pressure made Maharashtra rally back strongly to defeat Madhya Pradesh 3-2 to clinch the seniors’ title of the West Zone Inter-State Badminton Championship at the DY Patil Indoor Stadium at Nerul in Mumbai on Wednesday.
Dewalkar won both his matches, men’s doubles and deciding mixed doubles to clinch the victory against Madhya Pradesh.
MP started off well by winning both their singles matches comfortably. Abhimanyu Singh won against Harsheel Dani of Mumbai in three games, while Shriyanshi Pardeshi won against Neha Pandit of Pune, thus making the score look 2-0.
MP won the Juniors (U-19) title earlier on the same day.
Other semifinals results are Maharashtra won against Goa 3-0, while Madhya Pradesh won the deciding mixed doubles to down Gujarat 3-2.
Maharashtra coach Amrish Shinde quoted, “We should have won both the titles but our juniors missed it narrowly. Akshay played superbly and won both his crucial matches to bail us out,” Shinde told TOI soon after the finals.
Other results (Finals):
Seniors: Maharashtra bt MP 3-2 (Harsheel Dani lost to Abhimanyu Singh 18-21, 21-9, 14-21; Neha Pandit lost to Shriyanshi Pardeshi 18-21, 14-21; Akshay Dewalkar/Akshay Raut bt Azad Yadav/Shubham Prajapati 21-7, 21-10; Manasi Gadgil/Vaishnavi Iyer bt Khushboo Patel/Kirti Prasad 21-13, 21-7; Akshay Dewalkar/Revati Devasthale beat Abhimanyu Singh/Shriyanshi Pardeshi 21-12, 21-15).
Juniors: Madhya Pradesh bt Maharashtra 3-2 (Shubham Prajapati bt Arya Bhivapathaki 21-16, 21-12; Shriyanshi Pardeshi bt Mrunmayi Saoji 21-5, 21-11; Pramesh Patidar/Sanjay Thakur lost to Deep Rambhiya/Prasanjeer Shirodkar 21-19, 16-21, 14-21; Kirti Prasad/Sanjveeni Marathe lost to Mrunmayi Saoji/Akshaya Warang 20-22, 13-21; Shubham Prajapati/Shriyanshi Pardeshi bt Aman Sanjay Farogh/Riya Arolkar 21-10, 21-15).