Ahmedabad Smash Masters, last season’s semi-finalist, looks to be set for another productive season in PBL, as the Gujarat-based team registered its second win in as many matches by drubbing Delhi Dashers 4-1 in the sixth tie of Premier Badminton League at Gachibowli Indoor Stadium in Hyderabad yesterday.
In the first match of the evening, a mixed doubles match, it was R. Satwik Sairaj and N Sikki Reddy drew the first blood by with a score of 15-11, 15-10 win over Maneepong Jongjit and Chia Hsin Lee in front of a meagre crowd. That win set the tone for Ahmedabad for the rest of the evening.
HS Prannoy vs Daren Liew
In the second match, Ahmedabad’s World No. 23 Daren Liew got the better of World No. 20 HS Prannoy of Delhi. Prannoy was erratic in the proceedings and had to pay the penalty in the trump match for his side. He kept on making numerous unforced errors against his opponent who was looked better prepared with a superior all-court game. Liew got his smashes right and the drops were needed to trump a struggling Prannoy.
It’s not that Prannoy did not fight – he saved 3 match-points to narrow down the lead to 13-14 in the second game – but it was too late to rescue the game.
However, Indonesia’s Tommy Sugiarto made an impact for Delhi after he defeated the World No. 6 Viktor Axelsen of Ahmedabad.
The former world champion seemed a bit rusty playing for Ahmedabad, and quite understandably so since it was the first time he was donning the Masters’ jersey after coming from an injury-break in the third match.
World No. 9 Sugiarto had some stunning cross-court smashes up his sleeves that he executed with elan. The 30-year-old often got the better of his Danish opponent in some interesting rallies. Ultimately, Sugiarto was successful in getting his team back in contention, winning in sets of 15-12, 10-15, 15-8.
As a result of the win, the fourth match, women’s singles, was going to be the decider. It was Ahmedabad’s World No. 28 Kirsty Gilmour who displayed a courageous comeback after braving an injury-scare in the second game going against Evgeniya Kostetskaya. That win in the trump match gifted her team a second consecutive win rendering the last match virtually inconsequential.
Complete Results :
Ahmedabad Smash Masters 4-1 Delhi Dashers
Satwiksairaj – N. Sikki Reddy vs Maneepong Jongjit & Chia Hsin Lee: 15-11, 15-10
Daren Liew vs H.S. Prannoy (Trump Match): 15-12, 15-13
Viktor Axelsen vs Tommy Sugiarto: 12-15, 15-10, 8-15
Kirsty Gilmour (Trump match) vs Evgeniya Kosetskaya: 12-15, 15-12, 15-7
Chun Hei Reginald Lee – R. Satwiksairaj vs Chai Bio-Sijie Wang: 9-15, 15-9, 13-15
For live updates on PBL 2018, stay tuned with KreedOn.