KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia had a scare but did just enough to score a 3-2 win over England in the opening Group D Sudirman Cup in Vantaa, Finland, today.
Malaysia, who failed to clear the group stage 14 years ago in Glasgow after losing 3-2 to England, were not going to let history repeat itself this time.
Mixed doubles Hoo Pang Ron-Cheah Yee See were the heroes of the tie at the Energia Arena, as they upset the form book with a superb 21-19, 21-18 win over world No 7 Marcus Ellis-Lauren Smith to give Malaysia the crucial lead.
Boosted by the headstart from Pang Ron-Yee See, Malaysia raced to a 3-0 lead through All England champion Lee Zii Jia, and Tokyo Olympics bronze medallists, Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik.
Zii Jia outclassed England's young national champion, Johnnie Torjussen 21-4, 21-15 in the men's singles, but Aaron-Wooi Yik had to work hard to carve out a 22-20, 21-18 win over Ben Lane-Sean Vendy in the doubles.
However, 2019 Sea Games champion S. Kisona then suffered a 21-16, 22-20 defeat to the lowly ranked Abigail Holden in the women's singles.
And in the women's doubles, Swiss Open champions Pearly Tah-M.Thinaah succumbed to a 21-18, 17-21, 21-10 loss to world No 14 Chloe Birch-Lauren.
Following the win over England, Malaysia are second in the group behind Japan, who thumped Egypt 5-0 in the other Group D tie.