Awadhe down Delhi

Badminton PBL

Awadhe down Delhi

World No 2 Saina Nehwal notched up a comfortable straight-game victory in their Trump match over PC Thulashi in women’s singles to guide Awadhe Warriors to a convincing victory over Delhi Acers in their Premier Badminton League (PBL) match here on Monday.

Olympic bronze medallist Saina, B Sai Praneeth and doubles pair of Bodin Issara and Cai Yun won their respective matches to take an unassailable 4-1 lead over Delhi in their second tie, after they had gone down fighting against Mumbai Rockets 2-3 in their last outing.

Star of Awadhe Warriors’ last match S Tanongsak started the proceedings as he played the opening men’s singles against Delhi Aces’ Tommy Sugiarto but the Thai shuttler could not repeat a winning performance as the former World No 3 Indonesian registered a 15-13, 15-11 win to draw the first blood in the five-match tie.

Saina, who had skipped the inaugural match on Saturday due to a foot injury, enthralled the audience with a dominating game to take her team to a 2-1 lead after beating Thulasi 15-9, 15-10 in the women’s singles match, which Awadhe Warriors had selected as the ‘Trump match’.

Thulasi opened up a slender 2-0 lead early on but Saina dominated a long rally and then drew level soon.

Saina produced some spectacular shots which Thulashi failed to negotiate. Saina lead 6-2 and then hit the net twice but she never lost the tempo and continued to lead 8-5.

The Hyderabadi used power and placement to bamboozle Thulashi and lead 13-9, before wrapping the match with a return that left her rival clueless once again as the Warriors bagged two points from the match.

Lucknow’s Bodin Issara and Cai Yun then took the court against Malaysian combo of Koo Keat Kien and Tan Boon Heong in the third match of the day. In an edge of the seat doubles match, the Thai-Chinese pair produced a superb game to eventually eke out a 15-12 15-14 win.

It was Cai Yun who played a steller role, grabbing the last two points with a spectacular smash and a brilliant serve which left Kien and Heong clueless.After the third game, Warriors lead 3-1.

Taking the court in the second men’s singles, B Sai Praneeth then sealed the tie in Awadhe Warriors’ favour after notching up a 15-12, 15-9  win over Rajiv Ouseph of England.

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