PBL: Mumbai Rockets beat Delhi Dashers 5-0; Ahmedabad wins 4-1

Sameer Verma KreedOn
Mumbai Rockets' Sameer Verma on his way to victory (Credits Twitter)

The Rockets won by 5-0 against Delhi Dashers while Ahmedabad Smash Masters trumped North Eastern Warriors by 4-1 in an exciting PBL match.

Indian shuttlers had a field day at the National Sports Club of India at Mumbai as Ahmedabad Smash Masters and Mumbai Rockets recorded big wins against North Eastern Warriors and Delhi Dashers respectively in a thrilling double-fixture yesterday. It was Sameer Verma and Shreyanshi Pardeshi who shone for Mumbai in what was a five-star victory.

On the other hand, it Satwiksairaj Rankireddy managed to win both his matches against Ahmedabad Smash Masters on the way to put his team into a commanding position. Delhi’s HS Prannoy, contrastingly, had a disappointing evening.

Lee Chun Hei Reginald and Satwik started the day for Ahmedabad with a mighty victory against North Eastern Warriors  Yoo Yeon Seong and Liao Min Chun. The two shuttlers started in a slow fashion and went on to lose 10-15 in the first game. However, the match turned right on its head with Reginald and Satwik putting on some incredible badminton performance on display as Ahmedabad clinched the second game with a close margin of 15-14.

The decider was thrilling as expected, with both the pairs earning and giving away points at the same time. Nonetheless, it was Satwik and Reginald who held their nerves in the end, with the young Indian’s booming smash doing the job. They won the third game again by a 15-14 margin to take a 1-(-1) lead in the tie.

Former World No. 1 Viktor Axelsen was next in line for Ahmedabad Smash Masters against NES’s Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk. The Danish shuttler lodged a routine 15-11, 15-14 victory in the trump match to send Ahmedabad 3 points up.

Unfortunately, things didn’t get better going further, with Saina Nehwal failing to play in the tie on Sunday. As a result, youngster Rituparna Das had to step up in her place against Kirsty Gilmour of Scotland. Even though she couldn’t play, Saina kept on giving instructions to Rituparna as the Indian raced away to a 15-8, 15-9 victory before Gilmour could make a comeback. The result brought the Warriors back in the contention at 3-0.

Satwik then came back with N Sikki Reddy for the mixed doubles against Seong and Kim Ha Na and clinched an easy win of 15-8, 15-7 to help Ahmedabad scalp the tie by 4-1.

Earlier in the day, Sameer Verma, the BWF World Tour Finals semi-finalist, continued put on impressive performances as he upset Delhi Dasher’s star player and fellow Indian HS Prannoy. That fixture helped Mumbai Rockets get off to a convincing start in their Premier Badminton League campaign.

In another upset of the day, Mumbai’s Shreyanshi Pardeshi defeated Delhi Dashers’ Evgeniya Kosetskaya by 12-15, 15-8, 15-10 to give the hosts a 5-0 win.

It was a stunning performance from the youngster who was playing against an opponent ranked 169 places above her in the BWF world ranking.

Initially, Shreyanshi struggled with the height disadvantage against her Russian opponent and lost the opening game as a result. However, having learnt the trade of the game, the World No. 201 switched the tactics by hitting her tosses slightly higher and then delivering quick crosscourt drops.

The stronger defence was also elemental in Shreyanshi’s cause as she sailed through the next two games to give her team a valuable point. That also meant that Delhi Dashers’ tally for the round came down to zero.

It was a tough evening for another of Delhi’s star player, Tommy Sugiarto, who was reeling with the news of a devastating Tsunami in his country Indonesia. He lost in two straight games against A Antonsen.

The fourth season of Premier Badminton League started in one of the most spectacular fashion with the 2016 Rio Olympic final being relived as Carolin Marin played against PV Sindhu in the inaugural match. However this time, it was the Indian who emerged victorious against the Spaniard in sets of 15-11, 8-15, 13-15.

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