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Badminton Asia Team C'Ships: India men lose to China despite Prannoy giving early lead

India could not capitalise on Prannoy's win in the final group tie as China won the nail-biting contest 3-2. India, however, advanced to the quarterfinals after beating Hong Kong 4-1 in its first group match.

HS Prannoy Badminton

HS Prannoy in action during his match (Source: BAI)


The Bridge Desk

Updated: 15 Feb 2024 12:00 PM GMT

Indian men's badminton team lost its second and final Group A tie against China 2-3 in Shah Alam, Malaysia, on Thursday, despite HS Prannoy and Lakshya Sen winning their respective men's singles matches.

India, however, advanced to the quarterfinals after beating Hong Kong 4-1 in its first group match.

Going up against a tricky yet familiar opponent in Chinese youngster Weng Hong Yang in the first match of the tie, Prannoy looked out of touch as he gave away the game 6-21 with little fight.

Prannoy's unforced errors, not showing intent to close the spaces between the frontcourt and the net meant Hong Yang capitalised on the opportunities and took the lead.

The world no. 7 Prannoy, however, looked completely a different player, with him winning the next two games (21-18, 21-19) and giving India a 1-0 lead in the tie.

In the tie's second game, the young Indian men's doubles pairing of MR Arjun and Dhruv Kapila, who played the tie as India decided to give world no. 1 Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty rest before the important knockout fixture, put up a great fight but could not overcome the challenge from Chen Bo Yang and Liu Yi.

The Indians lost the match 15-21, 21-19, 19-21 as China drew level 1-1 in the tie.

Lakshya Sen, meanwhile, restored India's lead by handing Lei Lanxi a straight-game (21-11, 21-16) defeat.

China, however, did not find it tough to neutralise India's lead as Ren Xiang Yu and Xie Hao Nan defeated India's Suraj Goala and Pruthvi Krishnamurthy Roy in a lopsided contest (21-13, 21-9).

As the tie was finely poised, the responsibility fell on India's national men's singles champion Chirag Sen, the elder brother of Lakshya, to keep India unbeaten in the championships.

But playing against an unheralded Wang Zhengxing, Chirag could stay up in the fight as he lost 15-21, 16-21. China, as a result, emerged 3-2 triumphant in a tie and advanced to the quarterfinals unbeaten.

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