The 21-year-old Ayhika, who had upset World No. 20 Lee Ho Ching of Hong Kong in Mavericks’ victory.
Ayhika Mukherjee’s giant-killing ways stood out as RP-SG Mavericks thwarted a gallant charge from Maharashtra United and eked out a narrow 11-10 victory in their CEAT Ultimate Table Tennis (UTT) in Pune.
The 21-year-old Ayhika, who had upset World No. 20 Lee Ho Ching of Hong Kong in Mavericks’ victory over Empowerji Challengers, shocked World No 56 Lily Zhang 2-1 (10-11, 11-5, 11-10). After Ayhika, Kou Lei and the mixed pair of captain Harmeet Desai and Doo Hoi Kem had won the first three matches to put Mavericks in a commanding 6-3 position, Maharashtra staged a brilliant rally through their foreign players to turn the tables and gain a 10-8 lead.
Kristian Karlsson, Elizabeta Samara and captain Joao Monteiro won their respective singles to ensure three victories in succession for Maharashtra. Romanian Samara’s shocking 3-0 (11-5, 11-10, 11-8) victory over World No. 13 Doo Hoi Kem was central to their turnaround.
However, German Sabine Winter tilted the scales in favour of the Mavericks by winning the last match of the day against Madhurika Patkar 3-0 (11-7, 11-9, 11-10).