PBL 2018: North Eastern Warriors Easily Defeat Mumbai Rockets by 4-1

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Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk attempts a shot (Credits Twitter)

It is rarely undemanding to step on to the court as a deputy to a world champion like Saina Nehwal. However, the 22-year-old Rituparna Das filled in the big shoes with fair ease by winning the crucial trump match for North Eastern Warriors. The big victory helped her team trump the two-time finalist Mumbai Rockets in the 7th tie PBL-4 at the Gachibowli Indoor Stadium, Hyderabad on Thursday.

That strong foundation meant that the Warriors went on to win 4- (-1) even before Mumbai’s World No. 12 Sameer Verma took on Tian Houwei in the last match of the evening.

It was another disappointing evening for Saina, who opted to sit out for the second match in-a-row in this edition. She has been struggling with a shin injury of late and decided to take rest for the same.

 

However, the Warriors played with complete control even in the absence of their captain.

Warriors were off a strong start with the mixed doubles Min Chun Liao and Ha Na Kim defeating Pia Zebadiah and Kim Gi Jung of Mumbai.

Then came the World No. 55 Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk of Warriors to record a shocking win over World No. 18 Anders Antonsen in what was Mumbai’s trump match.

The Story of a Sensational fightback

Having been outplayed in the first game, Antonsen made a remarkable fight back in the second game with some potent smashes. He often pushed his opponent on to the flanks to pick vital points. He rightfully set the tone for an intriguing showdown.

In the decider as well, Antonsen led the roost with 7-4 at a point before his game drifted apart for him. Thereafter, it was his Thai opponent that started to dominate the proceedings. He then led the Mumbai shuttler by 9-11. A service-fault at the hands of Tanongsak gave a much-needed breather Antonsen, however, he committed a service-fault of his own. Tanongsak then posted a flurry of massive smashes to turn the tide in his favour and clinch the match.

 

Thereafter, in the women’s singles, Rituparna registered a creditworthy win over Shreyanshi Pardeshi in another 2-1 thriller to hand Warriors their third win in as many matches. The enticing thing about the Indian’s play was the way Das changed her gears in the 3rd match when the scores were locked at 11-11.

Rituparna was ferocious in taking advantage of Pardeshi’s errors and recovered very well after committing errors.

Complete Results

North-Eastern Warriors 4-1 Mumbai Rockets

Kim Ha Na – Liao Min Chun vs Pia Zebadiah Bernadet – Kim Gi Jung | 15-6, 15-13

Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk vs Anders Antonsen (Trump Match) | 15-9, 10-15, 15-11

Rituparna Das (Trump Match) vs Shreyanshi Pardeshi | 12-15, 15-10, 15-12

Tian Houwei vs Sameer Verma | 6-15, 13-15

Liao Min Chun – Yoo Yeon Seong vs Kim Gi Jung – Yong Dae Lee | 12-15, 15-13, 7-15

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