Warriors virtually in the semifinals; Rockets down Hunters

Warriors virtually in the semifinals; Rockets down Hunters

The Awadhe Warriors virtually assured themselves of a berth in the semifinals but it turned out to be a disappointing day for the Hyderabad Hunters in the ongoing Premier Badminton League (PBL) here on Monday.

The Warriors registered an emphatic 4-1 win over Chennai Smashers in the evening match but the Hunters were out of contention following their 1-4 loss against Mumbai Rockets early in the day.

Awadhe gained two points with a win in the mixed doubles clash, which was the trump match for both sides, and bagged two more points by defeating Chennai in men’s doubles and one of the two men’s singles’ matches.

Chennai secured two points, including the win of India’s star shuttler PV Sindhu in women’s singles, but lost one point after the team’s loss in the Trump match. The win for Awadhe came despite the absence of their star shuttler Saina Nehwal, who was not part of the team.

It was World No 34 Sai Praneeth who earned the first win for Awadhe after pulling off a hard-fought victory over Chennai’s Sony Dwi Kuncoro.

Praneeth lost the first game 12-15, but fought back to win the remaining two games 15-8 and 15-13. The decisive third game turned into a tense battle and Praneeth had the last laugh.

In the men’s doubles match, the combination of Cai Yun and Hendra Gunawan gave Awadhe a point with a 15-13, 15-11 win over Pranav Chopra and Toby Ng of Chennai Smashers.

However, the star attraction of the tie was the women’s singles match between PV Sindhu and Vru­shali G from Andra Pradesh and it was the World No 12 who continued her unbeaten run with a 15-7, 15-3 win in the third match of the contest.

In the other men’s singles match of the tie, Chennai’s Brice Leverdez defeated Awadhe’s Tanongsak S 15-13, 15-9 to bag another point for his team. Awadhe thus has secured 17 points in the tournament.

Earlier in the day, HS Prannoy stunned compatriot Parupalli Kashyap in the hosts' Trump match as Mumbai trounced Hyderabad. Hyderabad gained two points after winning the Women's Singles and Men's Doubles matches, but the loss in the Trump match quashed their hopes.

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