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Badminton Asia Team Championships 2018: Indian men pulverize Maldives 5-0, qualify for quarter-finals

FEATURED COLUMNIST
News
767   //    07 Feb 2018, 23:50 IST

Australia Badminton Open
Birthday boy Kidambi Srikanth led from the front

Indian men’s shuttlers put up a masterclass to blank Maldives 5-0 in their second match of Group D at the Badminton Asia Team Championships 2018 held at the Sultan Abdul Halim Stadium in Alor Setar, Malaysia on Wednesday. Birthday boy Srikanth, who turned 25, led from the front as Sai Praneeth, Sameer Verma and the doubles pairs of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy-Chirag Shetty and Shlok Ramchandran-MR Arjun all notched up straight-games wins easily.

With this win, India currently lead the four-team Group D and have confirmed their quarter-final berth. On Thursday, the men will face a tough challenge as they take on heavyweights Indonesia and the outcome will decide the group topper.

The Indian men routed Philippines 5-0 on Day 1 of this continental championships, which is also a qualifier for the Thomas and Uber Cup that will be held in Bangkok in May.

And they continued from there on the second day. The World No. 5 Srikanth needed just 19 minutes to prevail over the 520thranked Hussein Zayan Shaheed. The same pattern followed for the rest of the tie as the Indian men ruthlessly dominated the matches.

Singapore Open Superseries winner B Sai Praneeth ran away a 21-10, 21-4 winner over the 591st Ahmed Nibal in just 17 minutes. Syed Modi International champion Sameer Verma followed him with a 14-minute demolition of Mohamed Arsalaan Ali that had the Indian conceding only one point in the second game before notching up a one-sided 21-5, 21-1 victory.

In doubles, Rankireddy and Shetty marched to a 21-8, 21-8 win over Hussein Zayan Shaheed and Hassan Afsheem Shaheem in 20 minutes. Shlok and Arjun emerged victorious over Arsalaan Ali and Nibal with a score of 21-2, 21-5 in just 13 minutes.

Indian women too progress to quarters

The Indian women did not have any match on Wednesday, but Japan’s 5-0 thrashing of Hong Kong has ensured that they too get to advance to the quarter-finals from the three-team Group W. India struggled to beat Hong Kong on Tuesday and came back from a deficit for a narrow 3-2 win.

The women, led by PV Sindhu, will have to step up against the formidable Japanese team on Thursday.

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FEATURED COLUMNIST
A freelance journalist based in Kolkata who is a diehard Rafael Nadal fan. She is also extremely passionate about India’s progress in sports and hopes to throw light on India’s unsung sports heroes through her articles. When not screaming her lungs out in support of her favourite sports stars, she can be seen reading, watching movies or immersed in planning her next travel destination!
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