Indian girls put up a spirited fight against third seeds England in their second Group C match at World Junior Women’s Team Championship in Wroclaw, Poland.
Nada Elkalaaway, played as well as any of the youngsters from her native Egypt and ruthlessly demolished Lakshya Ragavendran in the opening match to give England a 1-0 lead. Nada, who qualified for England after 5 years of residency, only dropped 8 points in 3 games.
Harshit Kaur Jawanda looked to get India back on even keel against World no.88 Victoria Temple-Murray in the second match of the tie. Harshit Kaur led 10-9 in the first and 7-5 in the second but failed to take her chances and allowed the English girl to steal a 2 game lead. Harshit was unable to get depth on her backhand and made a couple of unforced errors – finding the tin with her forehand drops on points that were there for the taking. Despite the setbacks, Harshit gave it her all, keeping Victoria on her toes throughout the contest. Eventually, Harshit fell short allowing Victoria to steal the match and the tie for England.
Sachika Ingale and Lucy Beecroft put on a show for the spectators in a match that was anything but a dead rubber. Sachika and Lucy went for their shots and mixed in some nice boasts and deft touches to play out a riveting contest. Lucy held her nerve on crucial points and won three close games, with the last two going into extra points.
India were beaten but definitely not bowed in a show of heart that would gladden many a supporter.
India take on Japan in the final league playing for a spot in the quarter-finals. Japan will be bolstered by the presence of their no. 1 player Risa Sugimoto who has just arrived for the event.
England 3-0 India
Nada El Kalaaway 3-0 Lakhya Ragavendran 11/4 11/2 11/2
Victoria Temple-Murray 3-0 Harshit Kaur Jawanda 13/11 11/9 11/9
Lucy Beecroft 3-0 Sachika Ingale 11/9 14/12 13/11