P. Kashyap pulled off one of the most crucial victories of his career when he upstaged World number 16 Rajiv Ouseph and took India closer to a place in the final of the team championship in the Commonwealth Games badminton after taking a 2-0 lead over England in the semifinals at the Siri Fort Complex here.
Kashyap, preferred over a struggling Chetan Anand, pulled off a crucial 21-13, 21-17 win over Rajiv while keeping his cool on the big points.
Earlier, backed by a vociferous crowd, the mixed doubles combination of V. Diju and G. Jwala saw off some anxious moments before putting it across Nathan Robertson and Jenny Wallwork 21-17, 21-17.
Point of worry
Earlier, India made it past Canada 3-0 but the only point of worry was Chetan Anand's none-too-inspiring display.
Diju and Jwala, much chastened after a testing contest against Scotland in the previous match, raced away to an impressive 21-8, 21-12 in just 19 minutes to put India ahead. The Canadian duo kept pace with the Indians in the first-half of both the games but then faded away in a flash.
Jwala was impressive on the forecourt while Diju covered the court rear-court very well.
Chetan, bronze medallist in Melbourne in 2006, was expected to use the opportunity against David Snider to tune up his preparations for the tougher matches ahead but he struggled for the better part of the match.
After a close first game which Chetan won 21-18, he trailed 13-12 before holding four game-points at 20-16. In the second, after a 6-0, 15-6 lead, lost 10 points on the trot to trail by a point. But thereafter, Chetan shook off the complacency to win six of the last seven points to put India 2-0 up.
Saina Nehawal did the job expected of her by showing no mercy to “good friend” Anna Rice and completed a 21-16, 21-13 triumph in 30 minutes.
Saina was always in control in the first game but once Anna closed the gap to two points at 12-10, the Indian won the six points. But Anna kept fighting and made it 16-19 but could not deny Saina the last two points.
In the second game, Anna came close to 9-10 before Saina once again stepped on the accelerator to make it 19-12 and won easily.
Keywords: Commonwealth Games