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Indian men edge out Thailand

Equaliser: Lakshya Sen’s straight-game win over Suppanyu Avihingsanon brought India back on level terms.

Equaliser: Lakshya Sen’s straight-game win over Suppanyu Avihingsanon brought India back on level terms.  

Enter semifinals of Asia Team Championships

The Indian men’s team assured itself of a medal after progressing to the semifinals with a thrilling 3-2 win over Thailand at the Badminton Asia Team Championships here on Friday.

After K. Srikanth and B. Sai Praneeth faced reversals in the first two singles ties, India fought back to win the next three ties to set up a last four meeting with two-time defending champion Indonesia.

Sai Praneeth started the proceedings, but his gallant effort ended in a 21-14, 14-21, 21-12 loss to world No. 12 Kantaphon Wangcharoen. In the second singles, Srikanth went down 22-20, 21-14 to Kunlavut Vitidsarn.

In the hunt

The pairing of M.R. Arjun and Dhruv Kapila kept India in the hunt with a 21-18, 22-20 win over Kittinupong Kedren and Tanupat Viriyangkura in the first doubles.

Lakshya Sen, who had a stellar run in 2019 with five titles, then registered a 21-19, 21-18 win over world No. 45 Suppanyu Avihingsanon to bring India back on level terms.

It then all boiled down to the makeshift pair of Chirag Shetty and Srikanth and the Indian duo dished out a superb game to outwit the pairing of Maneepong Jongjit and Nipitphon Phuangphuapet 21-15, 16-21, 21-15 in the deciding second doubles tie.

“It is an incredible result for us considering the fact that we didn’t have Satwiksairaj (Rankireddy) and we generally depend on the singles to get us the win. But after we lost the first two singles, the way we got that doubles win and then Lakshya brought us back to level, it was a complete team effort,” Chirag told PTI.

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Printable version | Feb 20, 2020 12:29:02 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/other-sports/indian-men-edge-out-thailand/article30823823.ece

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