National Games Badminton: Telangana survive Maharashtra scare, to face Kerala in the final
Surat, October 2, 2022
Top seeds Telangana had to wage a bitter fight to edge out Maharashtra 3-2 to set up a title clash with Kerala in the Badminton Mixed Team Championship in the 36th National Games at the PDDU Stadium here on Sunday.
In the other semi-final, the H S Prannoy-led Kerala team defeated hosts Gujarat 3-1.
The Telangana-Maharashtra match, expectedly, turned out to be an edge-of-the-seat thriller.
Men’s doubles specialist Chirag Shetty teamed up with Ritika Thaker to beat Vishnuvardhan Goud and Gayatri Gopichand 21-13, 16-21, 21-15 in 49 minutes to put Maharashtra in the lead.
B Sai Praneeth, former World Championship bronze medalist, trounced Varun Kapur 21-10, 21-14 to restore parity for Telangana. (1-1)
Telangana's Samiya Imad Farooqui had three match points in the second game against Malvika Bansod. But the left-handed Maharashtra shuttler not only saved those but also went on to win the third and final game. (1-2)
B Sumeeth Reddy and Vishnuvardhan Goud drew parity for Telengana beating Chirag and Viplav Kuvale 18-21, 21-19, 23-21. (2-2)
The women’s doubles combination of N Sikki Reddy and Gayatri Gopichand then breezed past Ritika and Simran Singhi 21-9, 21-16 to hand their team a spot in the final.
Earlier, Kerala dashed Gujarat’s hopes of reaching the final.
Prannoy was impressive in his 21-15, 21-14 win over Aryamann Tandon after Kerala’s mixed doubles duo of M R Arjun and Treesa Jolly had beaten Dhruvkumar Raval and Aesha Gandhi 21-13, 21-12 in the first match.
Gujarat’s top player Tasnim Mir, who is carrying a niggle, was not fielded in either mixed doubles or in the singles. However, Adita Rao registered a consolation 21-12, 21-18 win over Andrea Kurien.
Arjun then combined with Shankarprasad Udayakumar to defeat Purushottam Awate and Bhavi Jadhav 21-12, 21-15 in 25 minutes to wrap up the semi-final.