Syed Modi International: Srikanth cruises to final while Akshay-Pranaav duo overcome odds to get there - Firstpost
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Syed Modi International: Srikanth cruises to final while Akshay-Pranaav duo overcome odds to get there

Lucknow: Rising Indian doubles duo of Akshay Dewalkar and Pranaav Jerry Chopra stunned World No. 7 Koreans Kim Gi Jung and Kim Sa Rang in an edge-of-the-seat semifinals to seal their maiden Grand Prix Gold final, while K Srikanth also stormed into the men's singles final at the Syed Modi International on Saturday.

The World No. 36 Indian combo punched over their weight when they edged out Gi Jung and Sa Rang, the two-time World Championship bronze medallist pair, 25-23 13-21 21-17 in a match that lasted an hour and four minutes.

File picture of Kidambi Srikanth. AFP

File picture of Kidambi Srikanth. AFP

Kim Sa Rang, who hit the net twice to hand over the match to the Indian pair in the decider, found the loss a bitter pill to swallow and broke all the racquets in his bag in anger after the match. He was also shown the yellow card for throwing his racquet after the defeat.

Earlier, India's ace shuttler K Srikanth cruised into the finals of USD 120,000 event with a lop-sided straight-game win over Thailand's Boonsak Ponsana in the semifinals of the men's singles event at the BBD UP Badminton Academy.

In a completely one-sided contest, Srikanth made mince meat of 11th seed Ponsana 21-14 21-7 in 32 minutes to set up a summit clash with China's Huang Yuxiang, who edged out fellow compatriot Shi Yuqi 17-21 22-20 21-12 in a thrilling semifinal.

Among others in fray, Commonwealth Games silver medallists Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa failed to break the Korean pair of Jung Kyung Eun and Shin Seung Chan and went down sheepishly 14-21 16-21 in a women's doubles match that lasted 39 minutes here.

Pranaav and Akshay, who had come into the match with a dismal 0-3 record against their fancied Korean rivals, played out of their skin to set up a summit clash with unseeded Malaysian combination of V Shem Goh and Wee Kiong Tan, who dispatched top seeds and London Olympics silver medallists Mathias Boe and Carsten Mogensen of Denmark 21-16 21-18 in another semifinal clash.

Pranaav and Akshay fought neck and neck till 13-13 in the first game. The Indian then opened up an 18-16 lead before reaching the game point at 20-19 but what ensued next was a quick exchange of game points as both the rivals engaged in fierce rallies.

Cheered on by the vociferous crowd, it was Pranaav and Akshay who crossed the finishing line in the opening game when Kim G J found the net.


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