Parle Tilak's Soham rallies to oust Harsh in quarter-finals
However, coach Hufrish Nariman's pep talk during the change-over had a positive effect on Soham, who regained his composure and won Game Two to force the decider
Soham Pathak, 12, of Parle Tilak Vidyalaya (Vile Parle) dropped the opening game, but came roaring back to win the next two to clinch a hard-fought 2-1 win against Harsh Sharma of Infant Jesus School (Malad). The boys were involved in an absorbing U-14 quarter-final match of the MSSA-organised inter school badminton championship at Azad Maidan yesterday.
Soham and Harsh, engaged in an absorbing tussle, mixed caution with aggression as they tried to wrest the advantage. But Soham, after leading 20-18 and set to win the first game, got a bit complacent and made some unforced errors which Harsh managed to take advantage of. He won the next four successive points to pocket Game 1.
However, coach Hufrish Nariman's pep talk during the change-over had a positive effect on Soham, who regained his composure and won Game Two to force the decider. In Game Three, Soham, showing better control with his smashes and drop shots, outfoxed Harsh and completed a 20-22, 21-18, 21-12 victory.
Meanwhile, second seed Saransh Gajbhiye of Ryan International (Goregaon) overcame a spirited fight from Tanish Mehta of Jamnabai Narsee (Juhu) 21-10, 22-20 to set up a semi-final meeting with Soham.
Top seed Darius Pardiwala of Bombay Scottish (Mahim) beat Harsh Pawar of Infant Jesus (Malad) 21-13, 21-2 and will play the second semi-final against Parth Khandelwal of Lilavatibai Podar (Santacruz). Parth beat Lakshya Chouhan of Atomic Energy (Anushakti Nagar) 22-20, 21-14 in the quarters.
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