From Our Correspondent
SHILLONG, Feb 7: The Indian men and women’s teams romped into the semis of their respective events on Sunday dismissing their opponents at will for the second day on the trot at the NEHU, SAI Special Area Games.
While the Indian men have set up a mouth watering semi-fil clash with Pakistan, the women’s side will take on Bangladesh in the round of four.
Other sides which made to the semis were Sri Lanka and Bangladesh in the men’s team event and Nepal and Sri Lanka in the women’s category.
It was business as usual for the Indian women’s team comprising of PV Sindhu, Ruthvika Shivani, Ashwani Ponppa, PC Thulasi, K Maneesha and Sikki Reddy, which raced to a 3-0 win over lowly ranked opponents Nepal who could hardly put up a semblance of a fight.
PV Sindhu launched the proceedings for India beating Nepal’s Sara Devi Tamang 21-2, 21-8. Sindhu’s smashes were too hot to handle for the young Nepalese who had no choice but to wait for the inevitable. The tall, agile and crafty Indian dismissed her opponent with absolute ease even as a lively crowd put all its weight behind the Indian star.
After Shivani went past her rival 21-6, 21-2 in the second game, the crowd was ready with a loud cheer for the famed doubles duo of Sindhu and Ponppa.
The stands reverberated with chants of “India India” and even “Sindhu-Sindhu” as the Indian women made merry on the court. The duo closed the game 21-10, 21-8. Later in the last session, India beat Afghanistan 3-0 to book the semi fil berth which was a mere formality.
The Indian men’s side too had it easy against Afghanistan who went down 0-3. The Indian men’s side had beaten Maldives and Bangladesh on Saturday.
In other matches of the day, the Sri Lankan women beat Bangladesh 3-0 and Pakistan women beat Maldives 3-0. Later in the evening session, Bangladesh beat Pakistan 3-0 in a closely contested affair. In the men’s event, Sri Lanka and Pakistan set the stands on fire with their fiercely contested games, especially the one between Sri Lanka’s Sachin Dias and Pakistan’s Murad Aliq. Dias beat Aliq 25-23, 15-21, 21-15 even as Lanka went on to win 3-0 and earn a semis berth. Second best side in Group B, Pakistan also proceeded.
Meanwhile, Bangladesh men’s team beat Maldives 3-0 to make the semis cut.