It was going to be a brilliant evening for the huge crowd gathered at ‘The Arena’ by SE Trans Stadia Ahmedabad. After all, when else can you witness such shuttlers like PV Sindhu, Kirsty Gilmour, Carolina Marin, Lakshya Sen, Viktor Axelsen, all at the same time? And they were not disappointed indeed, with some thrilling shuttling action on display for the sports enthusiasts.
Hyderabad Hunters were at the winning end, as the South Indian outfit edged past the resilient hosts Ahmedabad Smash Masters by 4-3 to extend their lead at the top by 2 points. They now top the table by 21 points with only 5 Ties still to play.
The opening match started in a spectacular fashion with Hyderabad Hunters outright dominating the mixed doubles match. Thailand’s Bodin Isara along with Eom Won of South Korea joined forces to closely clinch the first match by 14-15. The second match was more of a one-sided affair with Indian pair managing just 9 points in comparison to Hyderabad’s 15.
However, the home side made a swift comeback in the second match of the evening through World No. 21 Daren Liew. The Malaysian was at ease against India’s Rahul Yadav Chittaboina. Although Rahul did show some character in the first game, Liew bagged the match in straight sets of 13-15, 9-15. It being a Trump match for the hosts, Ahmedabad led the Tie by 2-1 going into the third round of the interesting match.
Denmark’s Viktor Axelsen made it two out of three for the Smash Masters after edging past Mark Caljouw 2-1. Having comfortably won the first game by 15-11, the World No. 6 looked set to pocket the second game as well, But Caljouw took the Dane by surprise and won the contest by 13-15. Nonetheless, the latter had the last laugh, winning the match by 15-8.
Just when the hosts looked set to win the Tie 22, PV Sindhu introduced a twist in the tale by winning clinching a close 1-2 win in sets of 14-15, 15-12, 14-15.
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— PBL India (@PBLIndiaLive) January 6, 2019
The epic win brought both the sides back on level terms at 3-3, with it all boiling down to the final round of the evening.
Ahmedabad’s L Reginald and S Rankireddy showed great character by winning the second game of the men’s doubles match after Bodin Isara and K Rang had won the first by 10-15. Howbeit, it was the latter pair that was triumphant in the end, winning the round by 14-15 and thus the game.
Ahmedabad Smash Masters 4-3 Hyderabad Hunters
S Rankireddy & NS Reddy 0-2 B Isara & E Wan
D Liew (Trump Match) 2-0 R Chittaboina
V Axelsen 2-1 M Caljouw
K Gilmour 1-2 PV Sindhu (Trump Match)
L Reginald & S Rankireddy 1-2 B Isara & K Rang
.@Pvsindhu1 is happy with everyone’s performance in the team and glad they are on the top of the table. ??
— PBL India (@PBLIndiaLive) January 7, 2019