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India blank Barbados 5-0 in Badminton

P Kashyap shone on debut while Saina Nehwal continued her rampaging run as India demolished a lowly Barbados 5-0 in the badminton mixed team event of Delhi 2010 here today.

After dumping Kenya 5-0 yesterday, it was time for Barbados to face the music when mixed doubles pair of Jwala Gutta and V Diju took the court here to start the proceedings for India. The World number 11 Indian pair, who came into the tournament with a quarter-final finish in the World Champions in Paris, thrashed Thorpe Dakeil Jonathan and Watson Shari Latoya 21-3 21-8 in just a 11 minute match to put India ahead. Kashyap then made his debut at the Commonwealth Games and though he looked a little rusty in the beginning, he soon shrugged off the early blues to wrap up his match against Reifer Nicholas Colin 21-14 21-6 in 17 minutes.

The cynosure of all eyes, Saina then took the court amid loud cheers from the crowd. The World number three dumped Eastmond Mariama Ayanna 21-3 21-6 in just 13 minutes to give the Indian an unassailable 3-0 lead over Barbados.
Sanave Thomas and Rupesh Kumar then streamrolled Reifer and Thorpe 21-4 21-9 in 14 minutes, while Aparna Balan and Ashwini Ponnappa then completed the formalities with a 21-8 21-8 win over Eastmond and Watson in a 13 minute match. While Jwala-Diju had a field day, debutant Kashyap had to face a bit of competition in the first game of his men's singles match. After losing two early points, the Indian gathered seven straight points but Reifer was in no mood to let it go without fighting as he tried to narrow down the gap taking it 10-15 but the Indian raised his game and wrapped it up with four straight points. Back to his elements, the second game was a walk in the park for Kashyap.
"I had some problems with the lights. It is bright out there, so it was a little different playing first time. I made some mistakes but it was easy later on," Kashyap said. "There are no such special feelings now, its just ok, may be once I beat some tougher opponents, the feeling of my debut will sink in," he said.

Saina, however, hardly broke any sweat as she engaged her opponent in long rallies, unleashing a wide range of strokes. "From tomorrow it would get tough, so I just tried to play all my strokes and also had some long rallies. I had good movements and adjusted better to the conditions today," Saina said.

"Tomorrow we have two matches. I would like to play both but I know it would be too tiring, so may be Aditi (Mutatkar) will play one single," she added.

Rupesh said it was another easy day but they are gearing up for some tougher competition in the coming days.

"It was a relatively easier match. We are getting prepared for the next two days, when we will have to play two matches each day. Wales and Scotland have good teams and we would look to top the group so that we can avoid England," he said.

Tomorrow, India will play against Wales in the morning session and Scotland in the evening. - PTI