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India beat Indonesia to win maiden Thomas Cup gold, Lakshya Sen, Satwik-Chirag and Kidambi Srikanth winners in final

Lakshya Sen, Kidambi Srikanth and the doubles pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty created history as the Indian men's badminton team defeated Indonesia 3-0 to win their first-ever Thomas Cup title.
India's Srikanth Kidambi, center, and his teammate celebrate after winning against Indonesia's Jonatan Christie(AP)
Published on May 15, 2022 03:14 PM IST
By, New Delhi

Lakshya Sen, Kidambi Srikanth and the doubles pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty created history as the Indian men's badminton team defeated Indonesia 3-0 to win their first-ever Thomas Cup gold. India continued their robust run in the tournament and inflicted a clean sweep on the tournament's most successful team of all time to register a maiden Thomas Cup title. (India vs Indonesia Highlights, Thomas Cup 2022: Satwik, Chirag clinch second game 23-21 in doubles; India lead 1-0)

Lakshya Sen, who came into the final with defeats in the quarterfinal and semifinal, began India's dominance with a come-from-behind win against Anthony Ginting. Chirag and Satwik found themselves in similar boat after losing the first game against Kevin Sukamuljo and Mohammad Ahsan. But roaring comebacks in the second game by both Lakshya and Satwik-Chirag forced the match into the decider where the Indian shuttlers edged their opponents in all three matches. Lakshya won 8-21, 21-17 and 21-16, while Satwik and Chirag took the game 18-21, 23-21, 21-19.

All eyes were on Srikanth, and unbeaten in the tournament, the World No. 11 secured a straight game win 21-15, 23-21 over the No. 8-ranked Jonatan Christie to hand India a piece of history. HS Prannoy, who played crucial roles in the previous two knockout matches wasn't needed today, and neither was the doubles pair of MR Arjun and Dhruv Kapila.

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Lakshya, who was off-colour against Malaysia and Denmark, the onus was on the World No 9 to get India off the mark, but when Ginting took the first game rather comprehensively, the belief was that India needed to really up their game in the summit clash. But what transpired in the second game was rather scintillating. Lakshya's determined and fierce comeback left Ginting flustered. Trailing 8-15, Lakshya showed impeccable defence and raced ahead 21-17. he displayed the same enthusiasm and courage and decider and sealed the game.

For a brief moment, emotions got the better of Satwik and Chirag as after being neck-and-neck at 9-11, the Indian pair gave away advantage to allow Kevin and Ahsan to storm to a 17-11 lead. Four more points and we were into the second game. It did not begin on an even keel though as India raced to a 11-6 lead. But a strong comeback from the Indonesian pair after the break almost injected a new life in Kevin and Ahsan.

An amazing turnaround saw them stretch their lead to 19-14. It was there that it felt as it India would have to wait, but a deficit of five points, narrowed down to two, and two more points later, it was levelled at 20-20. A little composure and wonderful tackling of nerves for saw India push the game into the decider despite Ahsan saving two game points. The decider began on an even keel and and despite both teams enjoying slender leads at different course of the game, Chirag's cross court smash gave India a 2-0 lead.

Next, the onus was on Srikanth to ensure India not lose their advantage. With the score initially reading 9-9, Srikanth mounted pressure on Christie, securing six straight points to wrap up the opening game. The second game was a lot closer with Christie, at one stage, winning six points out of seven. But Srikanth kept his cool and marked his areas. An array of smashes caught Christie off guard and despite the Indonesian shuttler showing tremendous reactions, a wide shot gave Srikant and India one of their most memorable points.

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