Praneeth marches on, Verma crashes out

India's B Sai Praneeth booked a semifinal berth at the New Zealand Open. DH FILE PHOTO

B Sai Praneeth was the lone Indian left in fray at the New Zealand Open Badminton Championship after he entered the semifinals of the men's singles event here on Friday.

Even as third seed Praneeth marched on, Sameer Verma, seeded fifth, was shown the door by top seed and two-time Olympic champion Lin Dan of China.

Praneeth hardly broke a sweat as he took just 28 minutes to quell the challenge of Sri Lanka's Niluka Karunaratne 21-7, 21-9 in the quarterfinals.

Praneeth will next face second seed Jonatan Christie of Indonesia in the semifinals.

However, it was curtains for Verma as he failed to counter Lin Dan's attacking game and vast experience to lose 19-21, 9-21 in another semifinal duel.

Lin Dan will be up against qualifier Kwang Hee Heo of Korea in the other semifinal.

Besides, fifth seeded Indian men's doubles pair of Manu Attri and B Sumeeth Reddy also crashed out after losing in the quarterfinals.

They were defeated 10-21, 15-21 by fourth seeds Bodin Isara and Nipitphon Phuangphuapet of Thailand. 

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Praneeth marches on, Verma crashes out

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