Indian men storm into semifinals of Asia Team Champions

Indian men storm into semifinals of Asia Team Champions

The Indian men's team today secured a  place in the semi-finals of the ongoing Badminton Asia Team Championships after a hard-fought 3-2 win against Malaysia in the quarterfinals at the Gachibowli indoor stadium here.

With both teams having won two each in the five-match tie, it was HS Prannoy who confirmed a place in the semifinals for his side with a 21-12 22-20 win against Teck Zhi Soo in the final and decisive singles match.

Prannoy, currently ranked 27, won the first game 21-12, but his low-ranked Malaysian rival came back in the second game.

Prannoy, however, had the last laugh and his victory set off celebrations in the Indian camp.

Earlier, India's captain Kidambi Srikanth, who remaind unbeaten in the group matches, came up with a delectable performance once again in the first singles match of the five-match tie.

He had an easy 21-14, 21-15 win against Malaysia's Zulfadli Zulkiffli, who is ranked 38.
The five-match tie comprises three singles and two doubles.

Boosting the team's semi final chances, India's doubles pair of Manu Attri-Sumeet Reddy beat Juan Shen Low-Kiang Meng Tan 10-21, 22-20, 21-16 in the first doubles match of the tie.

India, however, had a big disappointment with its promising singles player Ajay Jayaram (ranked 25) losing to Iskandar Zulkarnain Zainuddin, who is ranked 39.

The Malaysian gained advantage as Jayaram made several unforced errors and the Indian eventually lost 17-21, 21-12, 21-16.

In the second doubles match of the tie, India's Pranaav Jerry Chopra-Akshay Dewalkar went down fighting to Yew Sin Ong-Ee Yi Tieo. The Malaysian pair beat the Indians 21-14, 14-21 and 21-12.

The Indian pair put up a stiff resistance, but the visitors turned out be a tough nut to crack.

The semifinals will be played tomorrow.

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