PBL 2018: Awadhe Warriors Surprise Hyderabad Hunters 4-1

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Zhang celebrates after defeating Sindhu (Credits Twitter)

Awadhe Warriors surprised reigning champions Hyderabad Hunters 4-1 in the 9th Tie of Premier Badminton League at the Gachibowli Indoor Stadium, Hyderabad on Friday night. That marked the first defeat for Hunters in this edition having won on two occasions previously.

PV Sindhu vs Zhang Beiwan

The highlight of the evening has to be the stunning defeat of Olympic silver medallist PV Sindhu, her second straight loss at home, at the hands of Zhang Beiwen in straight sets of 13-15, 8-15 much to the dismay of the home crowd.

It was an astonishing display of some very intelligent net-play and weighty body smashes from Zhang that caught Sindhu, who was leading 12-8 in the first game, off guard at some of the most critical moments of the game.

Zhang, a World No.10, defeated Sindhu in the final of the India Open this February as well. She seemed relaxed and in better control on the pitch despite the drift factor.

World No. 3 Sindhu, on the other hand, seemed to struggle to get her returns right on a consistent basis, making the job for Zhang easier. She went on to wrap up the contest with fair ease. The drubbing of their favourite star meant that most of the crowd had left, rendering the stadium half-empty.

What happened in the Mixed Doubles Game

Earlier in the evening, the mixed doubles pair of captain Ashwini Ponnappa and Mathias Christiansen had given the Warriors a confident start after beating Won Eom Hye and Kim Sa Rang in what was the trump match for Hyderabad.

Mark Caljouw then pulled off a noteworthy win over Dong Keun Lee in the men’s singles.

World No. 5 Son Wan Ho scored a straightforward 15-10,15-11 victory over World No. 33 Lee Hyun Il to make the team score 4-0 in the favour of Warriors.

The last match of the evening, an inconsequential one, witnessed Issara Bodin and Kim Sa Rang beat Yang Lee and Mathias Christiansen to salvage a solitary point for the Hyderabad Hunters.

Complete Results

Awadhe Warriors 4-1 Hyderabad Hunters

Christiansen Mathias – Ashwini Ponnappa vs Kim Sa Rang – Won Eom Hye (Trump Match) | 15-12, 9-15, 15-11

Dong Keun Lee vs Mark Caljouw | 10-15, 15-7, 7-15

Zhang Beiwen vs P.V. Sindhu | 15-13, 15-8

Son Wan Ho vs Hyun Il Lee | 15-10, 15-11

Yang Lee – Mathias Christiansen vs Isara Bodin – Kim Sa Rang | 9-15, 13-15

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