Badminton: India stun Thailand to enter Uber Cup semis, Malaysia in Thomas Cup last four

India's Gutta Jwala (left) and Aswini Ponnappa hit a return against their Thailand opponents during the Uber Cup, on May 19, 2016.
India's Gutta Jwala (left) and Aswini Ponnappa hit a return against their Thailand opponents during the Uber Cup, on May 19, 2016.PHOTO: AFP

The Indian women's badminton team upset joint third seeds Thailand 3-1 to qualify for their second straight Uber Cup semi-finals on Thursday at the Kunshan Sports Centre Stadium in Jiangsu, China.

World No. 2 Ratchanok Intanon gave the South-east Asian side a flying start with a straightforward 21-12, 21-19 win over eighth-ranked Saina Nehwal in 41 minutes.

But world No. 10 P.V. Sindhu roared back to hammer Busanan Ongbumrungphan 21-18, 21-7 to level the tie at 1-1.

Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa put the South Asians ahead with a 21-19, 21-12 win over Puttita Supajirakul and Sapsiree Taerattanachai.

India wrapped up the tie when the unheralded 119th-ranked Ruthvika Shivani Gadde shocked world No. 25 Nitchaon Jindapol 21-18, 21-16.

They are almost certain to face China in the semi-finals on Friday, as the hosts are overwhelming favourites against Chinese Taipei in their last-eight encounter on Thursday night.

In the other afternoon quarter-final, 2010 champions South Korea thumped three-time winners Indonesia 3-0 and will meet either Denmark or Japan in the final four.

In Thomas Cup competition, world No. 2 Lee Chong Wei overcame Chou Tien-chen 21-18, 21-18 to put Malaysia on the way to a 3-1 win over Chinese Taipei.

They are up against either holders Japan or second seeds Denmark in the semi-finals.

Indonesia eliminated Hong Kong 3-1 as well and will take on China or Korea for a place in Sunday's final.