India started their badminton campaign on high after defeating Sri Lanka and Pakistan by 5-0 in mixed team event here at Commonwealth Games, Gold Coast, Australia.
Indian team led by Olympic medalist Saina Nehwal and World no. 2 Kidambi Srikanth got off to a winning start after outplaying Sri Lanka by 5-0 early morning.
Srikanth beat Sri Lanka’s Niluka Karunaratne 21-16, 21-10 in straight games to win the men’s singles match while Saina defeated Madushika Dilrukshi Beruwelage 21-8, 21-4 in the women’s singles match.
Before, Srikanth’s masterclass, mixed doubles pair of Ruthvika Shivani Gadde and Pranaav Jerry Chopra beat Sri Lanka’s Sachin Dias and Thilini Pramodika Hendahewa 21-15, 19-21, 22-20 in a thrilling game to give India a lead of 1-0.
After making the unbeatable margin of 3-0, World No.21 pair of Satwik Ranikreddy and Chiraag Shetty beat Dinuka Karunaratne and Buwaneka Goonethilekka 21-17, 21-14 in the men’s doubles tie.
In the last rubber, London Olympics medalist Saina sealed the tie for India by getting the better of Madushika Dilrukshi Beruwelage 21-8, 21-4 in the women’s singles match.
Next up, in the second group encounter India faced arch-rivals Pakistan and the outcome was same as before, India dumped Pakistan by 5-0 to get on top of the group.
However, Kidambi Srikanth was made to work hard by a Pakistan shuttler Murad Ali in men’s singles.
In the first rubber, mixed doubles duo of Satwik and Sikki gave India a lead of 1-0 by defeating Pakistan’s pair of Muhammad Irfan Saeed Bhatti and Palwasha Bashir by 21-10 21-13.
Next, in the men’s singles World no. 2 kidambi was up against Murad Ali, who put up a good fight against higher ranked opponent but Srikanth managed to get past his rival 21-16 22-20 in thrilling match to give India a lead of 2-0.
London Olympic bronze medallist Saina then brushed aside Mahoor Shahzad 21-7 21-11 while Pranaav Chopra and Chirag Shetty dispatched Pakistan’s men doubles duo in the fourth rubber.
Women’s doubles pair of Ashwini Ponnappa and Ruthvika then sealed the tie for team and India completed a whitewash against arch-rivals Pakistan.
India will now play Scotland in their last mixed event group match of Commonwealth Games 2018.