Smashers tame Li Ning Lions

Young shuttler Abhishek Yeligar leads his team to 3-1 victory

HB Challengers and White Peacock were caught up in an exciting tussle as the teams were tied 2-2 in the other match when going to the press.

It was K2 Smashers first win after they lost to Aratt Fighters on the opening day. After Smashers took 2-1 lead, in the crucial match, Abhishek Yeligar rallied to beat Sonic Prabhudesai 18-21, 21-16, 21-15. Abhishek after losing the first game fought back, clinching the second game.

Both players were matched evenly in the deciding game but it was Sonic who took an early lead at 10-7. Abhishek, not the one give up with out a fight, equalled the scores with three thundering smashes. Reigning in confidence, Abhishek then did not look back as powered his way to victory with a down-the-centre smash.

Earlier, Prakash Jolly outplayed Irshad Khan 21-12, 21-9 and then Leela Lakshmi overcame Jamuna Rani 21-15, 21-15 as Smashers stayed on course for a win with 2-0 cushion. However, they faced a set back as Aswin Satheesan and Pratheeksha Ramesh went down to Abhinand Shetty and Nitya Sosale 11-21, 9-21.

HB Challengers’ Suraj RN lost to Aditya Prakash 10-21, 16-21 but Arsheen Syeda Saadath edged out Uttara Prakash 12-21, 21-13, 21-19 to level the tie 1-1. Challengers went ahead when Sanjeeth S and Sangeetha Mari outclassed Srinath J R and Divya A 21-12, 21-9 in their mixed doubles encounter before Jagdish Yadav pipped Phalgun BS 21-13, 13-21, 22-20 to make it 2-2.

Uttara’s good net play helped her fetch a 20-12 lead before an error in judgement from her rival -- shuttle landed on the baseline -- gave her the first game. Arsheen got to game point when she came up with a down-the-line smash and then took the second game with her rival hitting a forehand long.  Uttara, leading by a healthy margin of five points at 14-9, the 18-year-old wobbled under pressure from Arsheen.

Uttara allowed her rival to close in the gap by a point. Arsheen levelled with drop. With Uttara struggling to keep her forehand inside, Arsheen stretched the lead to 20-17. A poinpoint drop and a cross court smash helped Uttara to reduce the margin at 19-20. But Arsheen had the final say with her cross court smash ending right on the line.

Results:  K2 Smashers bt Li Ning Lions 3-1 (Prakash Jolly bt Irshad Khan 21-12, 21-9; Leela Lakshmi bt Jamuna Rani 21-15, 21-15; Aswin Satheesan/ Pratheeksha Ramesh lt to Abhinand Shetty/ Nitya Sosale 11-21, 9-21; Abhishek Yeligar bt Sonic Prabhudesai 18-21, 21-16, 21-15).

HB Challengers drew White Peacock 2-2 (Suraj RN lt to Aditya Prakash 10-21, 16-21; Arsheen Syeda Saadath bt Uttara Prakash 12-21, 21-13, 21-19; Sanjeeth S/ Sangeetha Mari bt Srinath JR/ Divya A 21-12, 21-9; Phalgun BS lt to Jagdish Yadav 21-13, 13-21, 22-20).

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