New Delhi, February 17: PV Sindhu led the charge as the Indian women’s team blanked Hong Kong 3-0 to reach the semi-finals of the Badminton Asia Team Championships for the first time in the history of the competition in Selangor, Malaysia, on Friday.

India, who had upset China on Tuesday to top Group W, capitalised on a favourable quarter-final draw.

Sindhu, who is returning after a long injury-induced layoff, started strong against Lo Sin Yan Happy but had to regroup herself after a second-game hiccup to win 21-7, 16-21, 21-12 to give India the lead.

-----------------------------Advertisement------------------------------------

Sindhu began the match winning 11 of the first 12 points and winning the opening game. But if she was hoping for an easy outing, Lo had other plans. The Hong Kong shuttler used her deceptive strokes to trouble her opponent and forced a decider.

In the decider, the Indian was just too strong for her opponent as she once again started aggressively and never looked in trouble.

The doubles combination of Tanisha Crasto and Ashwini Ponnappa then got the better of the world no. 18 combination of Yeung Nga Ting and Yeung Pui Lam 21-10, 21-14 to put India within striking distance of the semi-final spot.

Ashmita Chaliha wrapped up the quarterfinal encounter with a 21-12, 21-13 win over Yeung Sum Yee.

Assured of a medal, India will now face the winner of the other quarterfinal between top seed Japan and China.

The Indian men’s team will take on Japan in their quarter-final clash.

must read