It was a thriller and an anti-climax rolled in one as Thailand overcame Indonesia by only two points to lift Axiata Cup for the first time.
Both team were tied at 2-2 for matches won and 4-4 on games won and a countback for point difference was required to determine the winner.
Thailand, last year’s runners-up, won 140-138. The Thais cruised to a 2-0 lead thanks to points from Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk and Ratchanok Intanon in the men and women’s singles ties.
Tanongsak extended his fine record against Tommy Sugiarto to 3-1 after he downed the world No. 5 22-20, 21-13 while former world champion Ratchanok outclassed Hanna Ramadhini 21-9, 21-12.
But Beijing Olympics gold medallist Markis Kido-Hendra Setiawan denied Thailand an outright victory when they beat Wannawat Ampunsuwan-Patiphat Chalardchaleam 21-16, 21-12.
Indonesia, however, needed world No. 10 Ricky Widianto-Richi Puspita Dili to win big in straight games against Maneepong Jongjit-Sapsiree Taerattnachai in the mixed doubles decider.
They won the opening game 21-17, but were trailing by a massive 13 points overall difference before the start of the second game.
For the Thai pair, it was simple – win by nine points or more.
Maneepong-Sapsiree allowed their opponents to pick up eight consecutive points to widen their lead to 17-8.
But it was not meant to be for Ricky-Richi as Maneepong-Sapsiree got the point they were looking for and confirmed victory for their side at 17-9.
With the champions purse of US$1mil (RM3.4mil) already in the bag, they wouldn’t mind giving further points as the match eventually ended 21-10 for the Indonesians.
Indonesia still have reason to smile as they walked away with US$200,000 (RM694,000).