SATELLITE BADMINTON : Lakhe rallies to enter quarters

Himalayan News Service

Kathmandu, June 7:

Anil Kumar Lakhe came from behind to beat Moktar Hossain of Bangladesh 14-17, 15-8, 15-11 and entered the men’s singles quarter-finals of the Nepal Asian Satellite Badminton Championship, which began here today under the auspices of Nepal Badminton Association and sponsorship of Samsung. At the National Sports Council covered Hall, Lakhe lost the first set 14-17 in a competitive game, and came back strongly in the second and the third to outplay the Bangladeshi shuttler. In the late match, Nepal’s No 1 Pashupati Paneru advanced to the men’s quarter-finals with a 14-15, 15-6, 15-2 win over Enayet Ullah Khan of Bangladesh. Others to make it to the last eight are India’s Santosh Pandey, who beat Pankaj Chand of Nepal 15-9, 15-9; India’s Utsav Mishra, who won his second match of the day when he beat Dumindra Jayakody of Sri Lanka 15-3, 15-13; Ahmad Waqas of Pakistan, who routed Nepal’s Navaraj Joshi 15-9, 15-12; and Ahsan Qamar of Pakistan, who defeated Prajwal J Rana of Nepal 15-3, 15-6. Lakhe showed his fighting spirit till the end of the second set and pulled one back to level at one set each, forcing the into deciding third set.

Down 0-4 in the third set, Lakhe fought back to make it 4-4 and took two-point lead making it 10-8. Hossain won the next two points and made it 10-all. But Lakhe returned to form and lost just one point to win the set and the match. In other men’s singles second-round matches, Pakistan’s No 1 Ali Wajid defeated unseeded Bharat Shrestha of Nepal 15-0,

15-3; while Nepal’s Indra Mehata lost to Thusara Edirishinghe of Sri Lanka in a tough three-setter 15-13, 13-15, 15-13.

Mehata, down 4-7 in the first set, pulled back to level at 7-7 and also took a 12-9 lead, but could not keep the momentum going and lost the set 15-13. Mehata came back strongly in the second set to level the sets at 1-1 by winning 15-13. He was 0-10 down, and fought back strongly to win the second set, despite a weak back hand compared to his Sri Lankan opponent Edirishinghe. In the third set, Mehata took a 4-0 lead, but a powerful Edirishinghe dominated consistently and went 10-7 up. Mehata, however, levelled at 11-all, and won the next point, but failed to capitalise on the lead and returned to the net to concede the set and the match. Earlier, in the only first-round match, India’s Utsav Mishra routed Ram Singh Chaudhari of Nepal 15-6, 15-6.

In women’s doubles, Dulall Hulder and Konica Rani Adhikary of Bangladesh beat the Nepali duo of Saraswoti Shakya and Sara Devi Tamang 15-5, 15-11; and the Sri Lankan duo of Renu C De Silva Thilini Jayasinghe routed Nepal’s Samjhana Khaling and Bina Kumari Tulachan 15-0, 15-3. There was good news for the home team as the mixed doubles pair of Indra Mehata and Pooja Shrestha entered the quarter-finals defeating Tahir Ishaq and Akram Ayesha of Pakistan 15-11, 15-6. In other match, Sumida Jayakody and Thilini Jayasinghe of Sri Lanka entered the last eight with a 15-1, 15-5 win over Bangladesh’s Enayet U Khan and Dulai Hulder. The tournament has been participated in by 31 players — 15 from Nepal, six from Pakistan, two from India, and four each from Sri Lanka and Bangladesh — in five titles — Men’s Singles, Women’s Singles, Men’s Doubles, Women’s Doubles and Mixed Doubles.