India enters Thomas Cup semis

India is thus assured of at least bronze at the Thomas Cup. The country has not won a medal at the event since 1979. Up against a nation that has won the title five times, the doubles pairing of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty, Kidambi Srikanth and HS Prannoy rose to the occasion with wins to see India home.
India enters Thomas Cup semis
Kidambi Srikanth was on top of his game in the quarter-final tie against Malaysia (AP Photo)

BANGKOK: The India men’s team scripted a memorable 3-2 win over Malaysia to enter the Thomas Cup semi-finals for the first time in 43 years, but the women’s side bowed out after losing 0-3 to Thailand in the Uber Cup here on Thursday.

India is thus assured of at least bronze at the Thomas Cup. The country has not won a medal at the event since 1979. Up against a nation that has won the title five times, the doubles pairing of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty, Kidambi Srikanth and HS Prannoy rose to the occasion with wins to see India home.

In the quarter-final tie, India did not get off to the best of starts as Lakshya Sen lost 21-23, 9-21 to reigning world champion Lee Zii Jia. Satwiksairaj and Chirag then dished out a superlative performance to outwit Goh Sze Fei and Nur Izzuddin 21-19, 21-15 and bring the India team back into the contest.

In the second singles match, Srikanth rode on his varied stroke play to outclass NG Tze Yong 21-11, 21-17 and give India a 2-1 lead. But, Krishna Prasad Garaga and Vishnuvardhan Goud Panjala’s 19-21, 17-21 loss to Aaron Chia and Teo Ee Yi meant the tie was level at 2-2.

Prannoy was fired up in the final match as the Indian erased an 1-6 deficit early in the first game to eventually canter to a 21-13, 21-8 win over Jun Hao Leong. The moment Prannoy unleashed a smash to seal the tie, his teammates entered the court and rejoiced. Earlier, in the first match of the women’s quarter-final tie, PV Sindhu fought hard before losing to 2118, 17-21, 12-21 to Ratchanok Intanon. India was down 0-2 when the doubles pair of Shruti Mishra and Simran Singhi went down 16-21, 13-21 against the combination of Jongkolphan Kititharakul and Rawinda Prajongjai.

Aakarshi Kashyap surrendered 16-21, 11-21 to Pornpawee Chochuwong in the second singles match as Thailand completed a 3-0 thrashing.

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