Badminton Asia Mixed Team Championships: India beat Malaysia to top group

HS Prannoy earned a stunning comeback win over world no.4 Zii Jia Lee. [File Image] YUICHI YAMAZAKI/AFP via Getty Images

P V Sindhu and H S Prannoy won their respective singles matches as India made it to the quarterfinals of the Asia Mixed Team Badminton Championships as group toppers after defeating Malaysia on Thursday.

Prannoy began the proceedings for India in their final Group B match and fought hard against world no.4 Zii Jia Lee before sealing a come-from-behind 18-21, 21-13, 25-23 victory in a match that went past an hour.

In contrast, Sindhu took just 34 minutes to beat lower-ranked Ling Ching Wong 21-13, 21-17 in the women's singles and give India a 2-0 lead.

Howver, the men's doubles team of Dhruv Kapila and Chirag Shetty lost 16-21, 10-21 to the duo of Aaron Chia and Soh Wooi Yik as Malaysia made it 1-2.

Treesa Jolly and Gayatri Gopichand put India in the ascendancy as they shocked Commonwealth Games champions Pearly Tan and Thinaah Muralitharanto 23-21, 21-15 to hand India an unassailable 3-1 lead.

India had earlier beaten Kazakhstan and UAE 5-0 each in their first two group matches.

Indian badminton in 2023: Can Sindhu, Sen, Satwik-Chirag and Co. scale new heights?

This tournament serves as a platform for World No 7 PV Sindhu to bounce back to winning ways. Sindhu has fully recovered from a stress fracture that kept her out of action for five months last year and led to a scratchy start to the new season in the Malaysia Open and India Open at home.

However, India were dealt a blow in the doubles as the pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty - who were instrumental in India winning their first-ever Thomas Cup last year - will not be in action. Chirag will partner Dhruv Kapila in Satwik's absence, who has pulled out of the event due to a hip injury.

The Badminton Asia Mixed Team Championships return after three years as the 2021 edition was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. India made the quarter-finals in the inaugural edition in 2017, while they failed to get past the group stage in 2019.