Her left fist raised, Pallabi Kundu yelled 'cho.' If you have been visiting the Netaji Indoor Stadium over the past two days, you would by Tuesday evening have known that it is a cry specific to table tennis and is usually let out after winning a crucial point.
Having lost the first rubber to Nikhat Banu blowing a 2-0 lead, Kundu's scream after winning the decider against K Spoorthy could have been an assertion of self-belief.
"There was nothing wrong with her game. It was just that she couldn't sustain the tempo after winning the first two games," Bengal coach Jayanta Pushilal said after a 3-2 quarterfinal win that set up a penultimate round clash against last year's runners-up Maharashtra A who swept Jharkhand 3-0 with Mamta Prabhu and Vediga Garg coasting to wins after Shruti Talnikar started with a 3-2 victory over Tulika Ray.
The West Bengal men's team too had to eke out a win against former champions Railways, Sourav Saha successfully battling Harmeet Desai 11-8, 6-11, 8-11, 12-10, 11-7 to post a 3-1 match scoreline. Desai had beaten Bengal skipper Anirban Nandy 11-5, 12-10, 11-9 to make the match score 1-1 after Saha, an ex-PSPB academy product, downed Sayan Paul Roy 11-7, 10-12, 11-9, 11-7.