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Commonwealth Games 2018, Gold Coast: Srikanth, Saina give India winning start in Mixed Team badminton

World No.2 Kidambi Srikanth and former World No.1 Saina Nehwal led the Indian shuttlers off to a winning start at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games on Thursday.

Commonwealth Games 2018, Gold Coast: Srikanth, Saina give India winning start in Mixed Team badminton

Gold Coast: World No.2 Kidambi Srikanth and former World No.1 Saina Nehwal led the Indian shuttlers off to a winning start at the Commonwealth Games 2018, Gold Coast outclassing Sri Lanka 5-0 in the Mixed Team A event at the Carrara Sports Arena here on Thursday.

Srikanth beat Sri Lanka`s Niluka Karunaratne 21-16, 21-10 in straight games to clinch the men`s singles match while Saina outshone Madushika Dilrukshi Beruwelage 21-8, 21-4 in the women`s singles match. 

Before Srikanth`s exploits, the mixed doubles duo of Ruthvika Shivani Gadde and Pranaav Jerry Chopra beat Sri Lanka`s Sachin Dias and Thilini Pramodika Hendahewa 21-15, 19-21, 22-20 to give India a winning start.

In an enchanting 57-minute see-saw battle where the scoreline read 18-18, 19-19, 20-20 before India turned things around.

Gadde and Jerry took an 11-10 lead in closing stages of the match to register India`s first win in the CWG 2018 over an upbeat Sri Lankan side. 

In the men`s singles tie, Srikanth went into the break with a 11-8 lead in the first game before extending it further to 18-12 but the Sri Lankan scored three points in a row to cut down Srikanth`s lead to 18-15.

The Indian, however, used all his experience to fend off any scares by bagging the final three points comfortably.

In the second game, Srikanth once again got to a 11-8 lead before making it an one-sided affair in his favour by pocketing the tie easily at 21-10.

India made it an unassailable 3-0 over the Sri Lankans after the World No.21 pair of Satwik Ranikreddy and Chiraag Shetty beat Dinuka Karunaratne and Buwaneka Goonethilekka 21-17, 21-14 in the men`s doubles tie.

London Olympics bronze medallist Saina then sealed India`s win by thrashing Madushika Dilrukshi Beruwelage 21-8, 21-4 in the women`s singles match.

After going into the break with a 11-8 lead, Saina roared back scoring 10 points on the trot to comfortably pocket the first game. The World No.12 Indian extended her dominance in the second game, to take a 11-3 lead at the breather before gaining six points on the trot to eventually clinch the tie.

With an unbeatable 4-0 lead, the women`s doubles match turned out to a one-sided affair for India`s Ashwini Ponappa and N. Sikki Reddy, who beat Thilini Pramodika Hendahewa and Kavidi Sirimannage 21-12, 21-14 in straight games to complete the clean sweep of the Sri Lankans.