Glasgow: Indian lawn bowl men`s fours team missed out on a historic bronze after it squandered a huge lead midway into the match to lose to Australia in the third-place encounter here on Friday.
The Indian team of Kamal Kumar Sharma, Chandan Kumar Singh, Samit Malhotra and Dinesh Kumar was leading 11-5 after the eighth of the 15-end match and came agonisingly close to creating history before losing the bronze-medal match 14-15 at the picturesque Kelvingrove Lawn Bowls ground here.
India has never won a medal in Lawn Bowls in the Commonwealth Games. The best performance in lawn bowls before today was the women team`s fourth finish at the last Commonwealth Games in Delhi.
The Australians immediately struck back in the ninth end and narrowed down the gap in scoreline to 9-11. But the Indians were also not the one to sit back and they led 14-13 going into the final period. But to the horror of the Indian camp, their players could not score in the 15th and final end while Australia scored twice to win the bronze.
Team member Samit Malhotra said it was disappointing to have come so near but yet so far from winning a medal.
"We are very disappointed with both games going to the last end. We were leading by one and lost two at the last end, which was disappointing. We are happy for reaching the top four but a medal would have been the cherry on top of the cake. To reach here and lose like this is disappointing," he said.
"It`s great exposure for us, playing against great teams.
Coming fourth is great. We will remember those last two ends forever."
Asked about the match, he said, "We knew it was a tough game. We did the right things and led throughout, right until the last moments. We played well, but one end we threw the jack into the ditch and then conceded four, which was the turning point in the match for us."