The Indian side will now face Hong Kong in the quarter-finals of the tournament.
After defeating Malaysia on Thursday, India advanced to the quarterfinals of the Asia Mixed Team Badminton Championships 2023. Led by star shuttlers PV Sindhu and HS Prannoy, India first gained a 2-0 lead over their opponents.
Back in the lineup after making way for Lakshya Sen in the second game of the group stage, Prannoy began the proceedings for India in their final Group B match, fighting hard against World No.4 Zii Jia Lee. He defeated the higher-ranked Malaysian 18-21, 21-13, 25-23 in the men’s singles match that lasted one hour and ten minutes.
In the women’s singles, PV Sindhu took only 34 minutes to beat lower-ranked Ling Ching Wong 21-13, 21-17. The win gave India a cushion of two points in the Badminton Asia Mixed Team Championships affair.
In what could have been the winner for the Indians, the men’s doubles pair of Dhruv Kapila and Chirag Shetty proved to not be enough against the much-experienced Malaysian duo of Aaron Chia and Soh Wooi Yik. Chirag looked to be missing Satwiksairaj Rankireddy, who has been forced out of the tournament due to an injury he suffered in January. The Indians failed to put up a fight and were defeated 16-21, 10-21 by the Malaysian duo of Aaron Chia and Soh Wooi Yik, giving Malaysia a chance to make a comeback into the tie.
Treesa Jolly and Gayatri Gopichand, however, then stunned the Commonwealth Games champions Pearly Tan and Thinaah Muralitharanto 23-21 21-15 to give India an unassailable 3-1 lead. The Malaysian women’s doubles pair held a 4-0 head-to-head record against the Indian duo of Treesa-Gayatri. However, the Indians held on to the early lead they earned in the game and defeated the higher-ranked duo for the first time ever, and that too in straight sets.
Courtesy of the win, India got a favourable draw and will now face Hong Kong in the quarter-finals of the Badminton Asia Mixed Team Championships 2023. The winner of this game will play either China or Malaysia in the semi-finals of the tournament. India had previously beaten Kazakhstan and the United Arab Emirates 5-0 in their first two group matches.
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