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England, who beat China for the first time in a series last year, made a great start in Exeter last night to this season's six-match series with a thrilling 3-2 victory. In the decisive last encounter and the promising men's doubles partnership of James Anderson and Ian Pearson battled back from 3-9 down in the second game to triumph 15-5, 15-13 against Zhang Jun and Min Zhenyu. England play the second match at Bath tonight and the other matches are at Boston, King's Lynn, Mansfield and Sheffield.