Uber Cup: Indian eves steal thrilling victory
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Uber Cup: Indian eves steal thrilling victory

Aparna Popat, Saina Nehwal upset Thailand 3-2 to give a thumping start to India's campaign for entering the finals of World Team Badminton C'ship.

india Updated: Feb 15, 2006 19:39 IST

India upset Thailand 3-2 in a cliff-hanger in the Asian zone Uber Cup qualifier at the Sawai Mansingh sports complex on Wednesday.

Top shuttlers Aparna Popat, Saina Nehwal and the energetic duo of BR Meenakshi and Aparna Balan pulled off sensational victories and gave a thumping start to India's campaign for entering the finals of the World Team Badminton Championship.

In other matches, Chinese Taipei beat Malaysia 3-2, Singapore trounced Pakistan 5-0 and Indonesia white-washed Iran 5-0 in the morning session.

The day belonged to the Indians who started as underdogs against Thailand. But the experience of Aparna Popat set the tempo for the hosts as she got the better of world number 22 Ponsana Salakjit 2-1 in a thrilling encounter.

Aparna, who has just recovered from a wrist injury, lost the first game 12-21 but pulled up her socks to win the next two 21-19, 21-18 to give Indians a vital 1-0 lead.

Thailand restored parity when their doubles pair of Saralee Thungkongkum and Sathinee Chankrachangwong outclassed Jwala P Gutta and Shruti Kurian 21-11, 21-15.

Monthila Meemak, world No 32, then subdued Trupti Murugande 2-0 in another singles winning both games 21-19, 21-15 to hand over a 2-1 lead to the visitors.

But the Indian doubles pair of BR Meenakshi and Aprna Balan fought back and pulled off the second doubles to level the scores at 2-2. Playing first time as doubles combination in an international match, Meenakshi and Balan beat Kulchala Worawichitchaikul and Sujitra Ekmongkolpaisarn 13-21, 21-16, and 21- 15 to keep the tie alive. More

First Published: Feb 15, 2006 19:03 IST