Hyderabad seal last semifinal spot

Badminton PBL : Marin sparkles in 5-2 win over Delhi; Bengaluru bow out

Hyderabad seal last semifinal spot

Olympic gold medallist Carolina Marin overcame a stiff challenge from Nichaon Jindapon as Hyderabad Hunters beat Delhi Acers 5-2 to take the last semifinal place in the Premier Badminton League at the Siri Fort Sports Complex on Thursday.

Hunters needed three points to qualify, and Marin, appearing in the trump match, ensured they sailed to the last four with a fighting 15-14, 11-4 victory. It was a thrilling women’s singles contest, with the teams level 2-2, and Marin produced her best. 

Unleashing an array of strokes with striking speed against Jindapon, she opened up a 6-1 lead in the interval of first game before the Thai girl fought back spectacularly on return. Cleverly mixing her shots, Jindapon held two game points at 10-8 before Marin roared back. It led to a thrilling exchange between the two players with scores being levelled at 14-14. Marin won the deciding point when her shot landed on the baseline, millimeters away from being out.

It proved to be the turning point. Though Jindapon kept up till 4-4 in the second game, Marin reeled off five points on the trot from 6-4 at the interval. 

Earlier, Sameer Verma logged first points for Hyderabad with an 8-11, 11-3, 11-2 victory over 17-year-old Siril Verma. Siril, playing his first match, gave a good account of himself in defeat, and took the opening game. However, Sameer fought back in the next two games to put Hunters ahead. The visitors inched closer to the semifinal when their mixed doubles pair of Chau Hoi Wah and 16-year-old Satwiksairaj Rankireddy shocked Vladimir Ivanov and Jwala Gutta 11-3, 11-4.

Appearing in the trump match for Acers, World No 2 Jan O Jorgensen briefly halted the Hunters’ victory march. With his deceptive shots and speed, Jorgensen beat a clueless Ouseph 11-5, 11-7 for the lone victory for Acers, making it 2-2. But Marin showed her class to take Hyderabad through, making it 4-2.

In the final men’s doubles, Boon Heong Tan and Wee Kiong Tan beat Acers’ Ivanov and Ivan Sozonov 11-9, 13-11 to end the tie style.

Results: Hyderabad Hunters bt Delhi Acers 5-2: (Men’s singles: Sameer Verma bt Siril Verma 8-11, 11-3, 11-2. Mixed doubles: Chau Hoi Wah/Satwiksairaj Rankireddy bt Jwala Gutta/ Satwiksairaj Rankireddy 11-3, 11-4. Men’s singles (Trump match for Delhi Acers): Rajiv Ouseph lt to Jan O Jorgensen 5-11, 7-11). Women’s singles (Trump match for Hyderabad Hunters) Carolina Marin bt Nichaon Jindapon 15-14, 11-4). Men’s doubles: Boon Heong Tan and Wee Kiong bt  Vladimir Ivanov and Ivan Sozonov  11-9, 13-11).

On Friday (semifinals): Awadhe Warriors vs Chennai Smashers; Hyderabad Hunters vs Mumbai Rockets.

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