Darshan, Dhruv spur Flypower Warriors

Badminton KBL

Darshan Kulkarni and Dhruv Shanbag helped Flypower Warriors earn a hard fought 3-2 win over K2 Smashers in the Karnataka Badminton League at the KBA courts here on Wednesday.

With the tie evenly poised at 2-2, the men’s doubles pair of Darshan and Dhruv overcame Daniel S Farid and Prateek Khurana 21-14, 21-17 to seal the tie in Warriors’ favour.
Earlier, Prakash Jolly gave Smashers a 1-0 lead after beating Rameshwar Mahapatra 21-11, 21-15 before Sindhu Bharadwaj put Warriors back on track with a 24-22, 21-16 win over Leela Lakshmi.

SDS Krishna and Aswathi Satheesan outclassed Girish Kumar V J and Pratheeksha Ramesh 21-10, 21-11 in the mixed doubles to give a 2-1 edge for Warriors. But Abhishek Yeligar had other ideas as he levelled the scores 2-2 with a 21-13, 21-13 thumping of Rajas Jawalkar.

However, Darshan and Dhruv saved the day for Warriors. Well before that, Aratt Fighters quelled a feeble challenge from HB Challengers 3-0 to register their third victory from four ties. Fighters top the table with six points while Challengers, who suffered their first defeat, and Warriors were in joint second spot with four points from three ties.

Jolly took time to settle down and once he did it was a treat to watch him unleashing an array of strokes, especially the cross-court smashes. Until the half-way mark in the first game, Mahapatra closely followed his rival, though, largely due to Jolly’s wayward play.

Infact, both players were tied at 9-all and then Jolly started showing his true potential. Jolly worked out an effective plan, placing most of the shots on the backcourt to his opponent’s weaker backhand side. In an attempt to put in more power to his backhand returns, Mahapatra left too much space on his righthand side of the court. Jolly grabbed the opportunities with both hands, sending cross-court smashes that left his rival reeling.

Though not on the trot, Jolly hit five cross-court smashes and coupled with good net play and cashing in on Mahapatra’s unforced errors, the 19-year-old Smashers’ shuttler jumped to 20-11 lead. Jolly then pocketed the first game with a bodyline smash.

Jolly’s reckless shots saw his trailing at 7-10 in the second game. Jolly often went for the spectacular smashes when a much waiting approach was suitable which he successfully did in the first essay. Jolly soon realised his mistake, shedding his over aggressiveness to a more cautious approach. Gradually, Jolly took the grip on the game before winding up the match in style with a smash.

Results: Flypower Warriors bt K2 Smashers 3-2 (Rameshwar Mahapatra lt to Prakash Jolly 11-21, 15-21; Sindhu Bharadwaj bt Leela Lakshmi 24-22, 21-16; SDS Krishna/ Aswathi Satheesan bt Girish Kumar V J/ Pratheeksha Ramesh 21-10, 21-11; Rajas Jawalkar lt to Abhishek Yeligar 13-21, 13-21; Darshan Kulkarni/ Dhruv Shanbag bt Daniel S Farid/ Prateek Khurana 21-14, 21-17).

Aratt Fighters bt HB Challengers 3-0 (Rohan Castelino bt Suraj R N 21-11, 21-18; Jacqueline Rose Kunnath bt Arsheen Syeda Saadath 21-17, 21-14; Govind M K/ Ashwini Ponnappa bt Sanjeeth S/ Sangeetha Mari 21-18, 21-17).

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