Prannoy pulls off another thriller as India down Denmark 3-2 to enter Thomas Cup final
Like in the quarterfinals, HS Prannoy pulled off a thriller in India’s Thomas Cup semifinal against Denmark. Making light of a painful injury he sustained during the first game, HS Prannoy won the decider against Rasmus Gemke 13-21, 21-9, 21-12 to put India in their first ever final, in Bangkok on Friday.
Limping for the most part of the third game, Prannoy could not believe his luck as he won the last point to help Indian down Denmark 3-2 in the semifinals. His teammates charged on to the court and celebrated India’s best ever triumph in a team event.
Playing with his ankle strapped, Prannoy slipped before the mandatory break in the first game and aggravated his injury. The doctor was called courtside and a struggling Prannoy lost the first game as he was unable to move well. But encouraged by his vociferous teammates from the stands, the determined shuttler came back strongly in the second. Though struggling to move, Prannoy controlled the front court and won the second game. Thereafter, he played his attacking game, hitting smashes with ease and maintained a five-point lead for most of the third game
Earlier, Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty revived India's campaign after Lakshya Sen lost the first singles against Viktor Axelsen 13-21, 13-21. The duo played their hearts out to quell a spirited fightback from Kim Astrup and Mathias Christiansen 21-18, 21-23, 22-20.
The Indians moved ahead of the Danes from the 14th point. In the second game, Satwik-Chirag were on the verge of victory at 20-18 but their opponents saved two match points before pushing the match into the decider by winning the second.
In the third game too, the Danes saved three match points from 17-20 but the Indians had the last laugh by winning two big points.
Former world No.1 Kidambi Srikanth put India ahead with an impressive 21-18, 12-21, 21-15 victory against world No.3 Anders Antonsen. Srikanth, who is in good form here, recovered after losing the second game and dominated Antonsen in the third.
Having lost the second game with a big margin, Srikanth came up with a seven-point burst to move clear of the Dane. Though Antonsen reduced the margin to 13-14, Srikanth raced to game point by scoring three consecutive points from 17-14.
However, Denmark drew level as Anders Skaarup Rasmussen and Frederik Sogaard drubbed the inexperienced pair of Krishna Prasad Garaga and Vishnuvardhan Goud Panjala 21-14, 21-13. And just when the match hung in balance, Prannoy rose to the occasion.
India await the winners of the other semifinal between Indonesia and Japan.
Results: India bt Denmark 3-2 (Lakshya Sen lost to Viktor Axelsen 13-21, 13-21; Satwiksairaj Rankireddy/Chirag Shetty bt Kim Astrup/Mathias Christiansen 21-18, 21-23, 22-20; Kidambi Srikanth bt Anders Antonsen 21-18, 12-21, 21-15; Krishna Prasad Garaga/Vishnuvardhan Goud Panjala lost to Anders Skaarup Rasmussen/Frederuj Sogaard 14-21, 13-21; HS Prannoy bt Rasmus Gemke 13-21, 21-9, 21-12).