Delhi notch up maiden win

Hosts down Hyderabad 4-1

Delhi notch up maiden win

 The Premier Badminton League made its way into the capital’s Siri Fort Sports Complex amidst dhol beats, neon lights and cheerleaders. The revamped version of the Indian Badminton League, which ran into trouble after its inaugural edition in 2013, however, got a lukewarm response during its opening day in the city.

Despite the presence of the likes of former World No 1 Lee Chong Wei, the crowd attendance was thin and the effect at the most cultivated. Chong Wei, though, lost uncharacteristically in Hunters’ trump match against Tommy Sugiarto to make it the highlight of the tie. Delhi Acers went on to win both the trump matches to clinch the tie 4-1. It was their first triumph in the league and came against a challenging opponent.

Sugiarto emerged the hero to humble Chong Wei in three games. The Malaysian’s trademark dominance in the opening game quickly lost its way in the second. To the surprise of his team-mates on the sidelines, the Malaysian continued to trail even in the decider. He was behind 7-12 before he shook off the stupor and brilliantly clawed his way to level 14-14. But Sugiarto, who was in sensational form, won the tricky net dribble to stun Chong Wei 9-15, 15-10, 15-14.

“It was an incredible game. I lost the first game but that motivated me to up my game and go for the kill. I won on his trump match and helped my team to bounce back in the tie,” Sugiarto said.

 Before that things were looking rosy for Hyderabad Hunters who had taken the 2-1 lead with Chong Wei playing the trump match for them. The loss in the trump match cost them a point while giving two points to Acers. Now it was Acers who were leading 2-1.

The final contest of the day was Acers’ trump match which saw renowned Malaysian pair of Koo Keat Kien and Tan Boon Heong, turning out for Acers, beating K Nandagopal and Satvik Sai 15-12, 14-15, 15-13 in men’s doubles.

Earlier, Supanaida Katethong had logged the first point for the Hunters when she rallied to beat PC Thulasi 12-15, 15-9, 15-13.  The visitors, however, were pegged back by the 15-9, 15-10 loss of Parupalli Kashyap at the hands of Rajiv Ouseph before Jwala Gutta and Markis Kido beat Akshay Dewalkar and Gabrielle Adcock 15-7, 15-8 to put Hunters in lead. It however didn’t last long.

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