Commonwealth Games: Malaysia see off battling Scots to make badminton semis

GLASGOW (AFP) - Defending champions Malaysia suffered a scare before seeing off hosts Scotland to progress to the last four of the Commonwealth Games badminton team event.

Chan Peng Soon and Lai Pei Jing were beaten in the opening rubber of the knockout stages by mixed doubles pairing by Robert Blair and Imogen Bankier 22-24, 21-9, 21-11 in a match lasting 64 minutes.

Malaysia, without top-ranked Lee Chong Wei through injury, recovered well to progress despite a vociferous and partisan home crowd.

Wei Feng Chong comfortably beat Kieran Merrilees in the men's singles competition 21-16, 21-14 before a brave performance from Kirsty Gilmour, who had strapping on her wrist, was not enough enough to prevent her from going down 21-10, 21-15 to Jing Tee.

Tan Wee Kiong and Goh Wei Shem ensured there would be no further worries for Malaysia with a 21-12, 21-15 victory against Martin Campbell and Patrick MacHugh.

Chong insisted afterwards that he will struggle to live up to the standards of Lee as he copes with the expectation now he is the highest ranked player in the Malaysian side.

"No, not really," he said. "His standard is higher than the others. The match was not easy. There was pressure on me to deliver for Malaysia."

"The noise was not good for us, but we have to get used to it," added Tan. "We expected to win today but Scotland did a great job. We were a bit surprised by them especially in the mixed doubles."

Malaysia will next take on Singapore on Sunday morning after they overcame the challenge of Australia with a comfortable 3-0 success over Australia.

The third day of the badminton saw the competition reach its latter stages after an earlier round robin group format.

In team events of the sport there are two singles matches, one mixed doubles, one men's doubles and one women's doubles but no dead rubbers take place.

In the other half of the draw, second seeds England comfortably progressed to the semi-finals with a straightforward 3-0 victory over Sri Lanka.

Husband and wife pairing Chris and Gabrielle Adcock, ranked fifth in the world at mixed doubles, beat Dinuka Karunaratna and Thilini Hendahewa 21-13, 21-10.

Then Rajiv Ouseph and Sarah Walker enjoyed comfortable straight game victories over Niluka Karunaratne and Hendahewa respectively.

England will next face India on Sunday as they look to secure a medal, with Walker already looking forward to taking on women's singles top seed PV Sindhu.

Walker, who has the word "courage" tattooed in Chinese Tibetan on her left wrist, knows the size of her task, despite Sindu suffering a surprise loss to Michelle Li. But India eventually progressed 3-1 against Canada.

"That's going to be a tough match, especially for me," she said.

"I've played a couple of top 10 players before and I haven't beaten them. I think the best I've done is beaten someone in the top 25 but I'm excited to be playing her. I will be giving it my all."