Chong Wei Feng secured Malaysia's winning third point after beating P. Kashyap in their Thomas Cup Group C tie on Sunday. - AZHAR MAHFOF/ The Star
NEW DELHI: Malaysia got off to a winning start in their Thomas Cup campaign against India in a crucial Group C tie at Siri Fort Indoor Stadium on Sunday.
But a place in the last eight of the Thomas Cup Finals remains in doubt despite the 4-1 victory. The winning third point came from Chong Wei Feng's 21-13, 21-6 defeat of P. Kashyap.
Captain Liew Daren again proved to be Malaysia’s weak point. Playing in the last match of Sunday’s match, he lost 21-18, 13-21, 19-21 to R.M.V. Gurusaidutt in the dead third singles.
The scratch second doubles pair Tan Wee Kiong-Goh V Shem also looked shaky by dropping a game, but recovered to score a 21-17, 14-21, 21-14 win over Akshay Dewalkar-Pranaav Jerry Chopra for Malaysia’s fourth point.
World No. 1 Lee Chong Wei overcame K. Srikanth 21-19, 21-12 for the first point and scratch pair Tan Boon Heong-Hoo Thien How extended the lead with a 21-14, 21-11 win over Sumeeth Reddy-Manu Attri.
Despite the win, Malaysia are not safely through to the last eight as they have to take on in-form Germany on Monday. In the other group tie, the Germans stretched 2012 losing finalists South Korea to the limit before losing 2-3.
Malaysia’s Thomas Cup project leader Rashid Sidek admitted the Germans have the potential to wreck their hopes of topping Group C.
“Germany are looking very good and we cannot under-estimate them tomorrow. We can win the first singles (through Chong Wei), but it will be a tough fight in the second and third singles.
“We cannot afford to lose both the doubles matches. We anticipate Germany will give us a good fight. Having stretched the Koreans today, the Germans will definitely be more confident now.
“We will decide on our line-up early tomorrow morning.
“It’s a tie we have to win as we have a difficult test against South Korea on Wednesday,” said Rashid.