XtraTime Web Desk: Indian shuttlers were off to flying start in the Commonwealth Games badminton mixed team event on Thursday. The Indians, spearheaded by Saina Nehwal and Kidambi Srikanth trounced Sri Lanka 5-0
Pranaav Chopra and Ruthvika Gadde opened the proceedings against Sachin Dias and Thilini Pramodika and the Indian pair had to toil a little more than anticipated to prevail 21-15 19-21 22-20 in a match which lasted nearly an hour.
However, Srikanth brought the momentum back by dispatching Niluka Karunaratane in straight games. The men’s singles top seed won 21-16 21-10.
The men’s doubles pair of Satwik Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty made a successful CWG debut, taking down Dinuka Karunaratna and Buwaneka Goonethillkea 21-17 21-14.
Next player in was Saina and she didn’t give much time or effort in annihilating Madushika Beruelage 21-8 21-4 in a 22-minute appearance.
Talking about the win, Saina said, “It is nice to get used to the court conditions. The Commonwealth Games is very prestigious for all of the countries, and for India, we are trying our level best and I just want to be focused and concentrate on all of my matches.”
“I expected that she would give me a tough fight. When you play someone who is lower-ranked, it is tough, because there is great expectation from you,” she added.
Asked about India’s prospects in the event, Saina said, “I hope that the whole team can play well. We are not thinking too much about the semis and finals
In the last match of the tie, Ashwini Ponnappa and N Sikki Reddy defeated Thilini Pramodika and Kavidi Siriannage 21-12 21-14.