Indian eves came up with a domineering performance to upset third seed Hong Kong 4-1 in the league encounter of the Uber Cup (preliminaries) Asia Zone badminton tournament at Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on Thursday.
The Indians, led by national champion Aparna Popat, made the 2002 Uber Cup bronze medallist look mediocre through out the tie to come within striking distance for a berth in the finals to be held at Jakarta, Indonesia in May.
The Indians now have two wins from three encounters and will take on hosts Malaysia in the final league encounter to decide the second team to qualify for the semi finals from Group A.
Strong contenders Japan have won all the three league matches and are favourites to maintain their perfect record against Hong Kong tomorrow.
All the four semi finalists would join host Indonesia and defending champions China in the finals.
The Indians were given a flying start by Popat, who has not lost a single match so far, thrashing Wan Ting Ling 11-3, 11-6.
The 1998 Commonwealth Games silver medallist took full advantage of the absence of World no. 4 Wang Chen, who opted out due to injury, to put India in the driver's seat in just 18 minutes.
The experienced B R Meenakshi then crushed Ng Ka-Shuu 11-1, 11-5 in just within 25 minutes to increase the lead to 2-0.
The result was confirmed beyond doubt when Trupti Murgunde stepped on to the court to send Yip Pui-Yin packing 11-9, 11-2 in 32 minutes.
But the 'dead rubber' syndrome seemed to catch up with the Indians in the first doubles as the pair of Shruti Kurien and Jwala Gutta surrendered to Koon Wai Chee and Li Wing Mui 6-15, 12-15.
Former national champion Manjusha Kanwar then ensured that the Indians signed off in style as she teamed up with Fatima Nazneen to beat Wan Ting Ling and Mau Cheng Wang 15-5, 15-10 and complete the scoreline.