KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 2 – Malaysia’s Pearly Tan-M.Thinaah served a pleasant surprise to stay alive in the women’s doubles Group A at the BWF World Tour Finals in Bali on Thursday – snatching a straight game 23-21, 21-14 win over top seeds and World No 9 Jongkolphan Kititharakul-Rawinda Prajongjai of Thailand.
Pearly deserves pat on the back for playing an inspiring role in the victory – reminding Thinaah to stay focused in the match and it boosted her partner’s confidence.
It worked as the Malaysian duo raised their game to rattle the Thais.
The Malaysians, however, have another tough hurdle on Friday. They have to beat Indonesia’s reigning Tokyo Olympics champions Greysia Polii-Apriyani Rahayu in the final group match.
Pearly-Thinaah have a poor head to head count against the Indonesians, having lost all their four previous encounters.
The Indonesians slumped to a shock 15-21, 18-21 defeat to unseeded Koreans Kim So Yeong-Kong Hee Yong in another Group A match.
With their new found confidence, Pearly-Thinaah could just pull off another winning act to beat the home favourites to advance to the last four.
In the men’s doubles Malaysian professionals Ong Yew Sin-Teo Ee Yi came back from a one game deficit to beat Indonesia’s Pramudya Kusumawardana-Yeremia Yacob Rambitan 12-21, 21-11, 21-18 in a match that lasted 56 minutes for their win.
They next face Japan’s Takuro Hoki-Yugo Kobayashi to decide the top two positions in Group B.
  In the men’s singles Lee Zii Jia defeated Frenchman Toma Junior Popov 21-13, 21-19 in 47 minutes. The Malaysian number one plays India’s K. Srikanth, who lost to Thailand’s Kunlavut Vitidsarn on Friday.
In the mixed doubles Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying played a grueling 84 minutes for a 21-17, 19-21, 21-16 win over Denmark’s Mathias Christiansen-Alexandra Boje and keep their unbeaten record in Group A.
The Rio Olympics silver medalists take on Japan’s Yuta Watanabe-Arisa Higashino in their last round robin match. The Japanese knocked out another Malaysian pair Tan Kian Meng-Lai Pei Jing with a 21-16, 21-10 win.

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