Rajiv Ouseph was the star of the show for Chennai after his stunning defeated former world champion Viktor Axelsen
Ahmedabad was left stunned by the 8th placed Chennai Smashers who defeated the Smash Masters on all fronts. The defeat will hurt more since the Gujarat team had a glorious chance of moving to the top of the table.
It was Rajiv Ouseph who struck the blow of the day for the Chennai Smashers, after defeating Viktor Axelsen, stealing Ahmedabad’s Trump Match in the process.
It took a three-game thriller to decide the winner of the men’s singles match, with the outcome being determined by errors in the closing phase at the hands of Viktor Axelsen.
Ouseph brilliantly built upon a two-win cushion his team gained earlier in the tie and put up a dominant performance on the court.
— Chennai Smashers (@ChennaiSmashers) December 30, 2018
Ouseph’s win took Chennai beyond the Smash Masters clutches with the score standing at 3-(-1) in the 12th Premier Badminton League tie of the evening. Sung Ji Hyun proved too tough a nut to crack for Kirsty Gilmour in the women’s singles, earning some more Trump points. The final score stood at 6-(-1).
Axelsen has been struggling to return from injury and his form in the ongoing tournament has been inconsistent. Although the 23-year-old Danish player made a comeback by winning the second match after losing the first one by 12-15, he had little say in the final round.
From when the score stood at 7-7 in the third game until the match-point, Ouseph seemed to have moved into his zone with some very decisive play at the net and from the backcourt.
He celebrated each point won with big roars as teammates cheered him ferociously. It was Axelsen who ultimately netted a return on match-point. Ahmedabad lost for the first time in four games.
— PBL India (@PBLIndiaLive) December 30, 2018
The Indian shuttlers were at the receiving end earlier in the first two encounters at the Balewadi Indoor Stadium.
Chong Wei Feng of Malaysia surprised Sameer Verma, the second-ranked Indian Men’s Singles player at 12 after an intense exchange of rallies.
The win was followed by Chennai’s badminton couple, Chris and Gabrielle Adcock, getting the better of in-form Reddy pair of Satwik Sai and Sikki in the mixed doubles.
The fourth match saw Rajeev and Sung take charge from that point in the men’s doubles before the pair of Chris Addock and Sumeeth Reddy put the final nail in the coffin.
Chennai Smashers 6-(-1) Ahmedabad Smash Masters
Chong Wei Feng vs Sameer Verma | 8-15, 15-14, 15-9
Chris Adcock – Gabrielle Adcock vs Satwiksai Reddy – Sikki Reddy | 15-14, 15-13
Rajiv Ouseph vs Viktor Axelsen (Trump Match) | 15-12, 7-15, 15-13
Sung Ji Hyun (Trump Match) vs Kristy Gilmour | 15-11, 15-9
Chris Adcock – Sumeeth Reddy vs Lee Chun Hei – Satwiksai Reddy | 15-11, 15-12
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