India knocks Malaysia out of Thomas Cup

India knocks Malaysia out of Thomas Cup
India celebrating their win after making it to the Thomas Cup semi-finals for the first time since 1979.

India knocks Malaysia out of Thomas Cup

PETALING JAYA: Five-time winners Malaysia were knocked out by India in the Thomas Cup badminton quarterfinals tonight, losing 3-2 in a close tie.

National champion Lee Zii Jia got Malaysia off to a great start when he beat Indian ace Lakshya Sen in straight games 23-21, 21-9 in 46 minutes. Despite the scoreline, Zii Jia was in control for most parts of the game.

But Malaysia’s lead was short-lived as the top Indian doubles pair of Chirag Shetty/Satwiksairaj Rankireddy beat Goh Sir Fei/Nur Izuddin 21-15, 21-19 in a match that the Malaysians were expected to win.

The Indian pair took the match in 41 minutes, after leading all the way in both sets as the Malaysians appeared to be making unforced errors.

With the score tied at 1-1, Malaysia’s second singles player Ng Tze Yong took to the court with the crowd in the Bangkok stadium cheering him on as he started his match against Indian player Kidambi Srikanth.

However, much to their disappointment, Srikanth was in total control and cruised to an easy 21-11, 21-16 win over Ng, who appeared to have lost his fighting spirit, allowing India to take a 2-1 lead.

Forcing themselves into a precarious position knowing that they must win the next match to stay in the running to book a berth in the semis, Malaysian doubles champions Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik walked in appearing to be all charged up to win and draw level with the Indians.

They took an early lead and led at the crossover 11-9 but a lapse after that saw the Indians taking the lead at 16-15. It was a point for point tussle until Aaron-Soh took the first game narrowly at 21-19.

The second saw both pairs playing point for point with Malaysia leading 11-10 during the changeover. It was a close game with one point separating the two all the way until the Malaysians took the match at 21-17 in 37 minutes.

Malaysia’s third singles player Leong Jun Hao stormed ahead in the deciding tie against HS Prannoy 6-1 but the Indian managed to come back into the game, trailing 10-11 at the changeover. But Prannoy took charge after that and sealed the first game at 21-13.

In the second game Prannoy was too strong for the young Jun Hao as he led all the way before winning at 21-8.

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India knocks Malaysia out of Thomas Cup

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