Badminton Asia Team C'ships: Indian men go down 2-3 against China

New Delhi, Feb 15 (IANS) The Indian men’s badminton team put up a spirited performance against China but ended on the losing side of a 2-3 scoreline in the Group A clash of the Badminton Asia Team Championship at Selangor, Malaysia, on Thursday.

With their spot in the quarterfinals assured after their win over Hong Kong on Wednesday, India opted to rest the Asian Games gold medallist doubles combination of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty and former world No.1 Kidambi Srikanth in order to keep them fresh for the knock-out stage.

World No.7 H.S Prannoy also needed time to find his footing in the opening match against Weng Hong Yang but showed why he is considered such a formidable force in the team events by staging an impressive fightback to win 6-21, 21-18, 21-19 in an hour and 13 minutes.

The doubles combination of M.R. Arjun and Dhruv Kapila then came close to doubling India’s lead against the Chinese combination of Chen Bo Yang and Liu Yi, ranked 17 places above them.

Trailing 13-19 in the decider, the Indian pair won six straight points to level scores but could not sustain the momentum and lost 21-15, 19-21, 21-19 in an hour and 10 minutes.

Lakshya Sen then put India ahead once again with a 21-11, 21-16 win over Lei Lan Xi. It was then left for the debutant doubles combination of Suraj Goala and Pruthvi K. Roy, and national singles champion Chirag Sen to see India through. They did take the fight to their opponents but fell short.


Men: China bt India 3-2 (Weng Hong Yang lost to HS Prannoy 21-6, 18-21, 19-21; Chen Bo Yang/Liu Yi bt MR Arjun/Dhruv Kapila 21-15, 19-21, 21-19; Lei Lan Xi lost to Lakshya Sen 11-21, 16-21; Ren Xiang Yu/Xie Hao Nan bt Suraj Goala/Pruthvi K Roy 21-13, 21-9; Wang Zheng Xing bt Chirag Sen 21-15, 21-16).



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