A wrong umpiring decision dashed P Kashyap's hopes of a maiden Commonwealth Games final but Saina Nehwal and women's doubles pair of Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa assured India of silver medals after advancing to the finals of the individual badminton event in New Delhi on Tuesday.
In a nail-biting semifinal clash, which went down to the wires, Kashyap and Rajiv Ouseph were locked at 18-all in the decider when a cross-court smash by the English shuttler landed just outside the left side of the court.
But the line umpire judged it in and the Indian lost his semifinal match 21-19 12-21 21-18 after a 65-minute battle at the Siri Fort Sports Complex here.
Melbourne bronze medallist Chetan Anand lost his last-four tie against world number one and top seed Lee Chong Wei 11-21 12-21 in just 24 minute, much to the disappointment of the packed crowd, which also included Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi and Lok Sabha speaker Meira Kumar.
However, Jwala-Ashwini enthralled the spectators with a 12-21 21-13 21-11 win over Australian Tang He Tian and Wilson-Smith Kate in a 47-minute battle.
Top seed Saina Nehwal then battled past third seed Susan Egelstaff 21-10 21-17 to inch closer to her maiden Games gold medal.
However, it was Kashyap's nerve-wrecking semifinal which left India heartbroken.
In the thrilling tie, Kashyap pocketed the first game after opening up a 11-6 lead at the break.
With the change of side, Kashyap found the going tough and committed too many unforced errors as Rajiv raced way to a 7-0 lead. The Indian tried to slow down the pace and played long rallies and narrowed down the lead to 8-12 but Rajiv was better at the nets as he bounced back to draw level.
In the decider, Kashyap again opened up a lead of 11-6 at the break but again a change of side saw him committing unforced errors and losing points at the net as Rajiv drew level at 16-16, before leading 18-17. The Indian took another point to draw level but with the controversial line call going against him, Kashyap lost two more points to lose the match.
Kashyap protested but the chair umpire Louwrens Bester of South Africa didn't overrule the decision as the packed crowd burst into slogans of of 'cheating, cheating' and booed Rajiv away from the venue.
"Ya, it was clearly out. The umpire could have overruled it. But he didn't. What can I say. I am disappointed. It cost me the match," Kashyap said when asked if the shuttle landed outside.
Asked about the match, Kashyap said, "He (Rajiv) was ready for my strokes today. He was anticipating them. I couldn't play the cross-court shots and ended up playing straight. I gave him too many mid court shots, which he comfortably smashed. He was playing better at the nets but still I could have won it."