Wan Son showed nervers of steel in the thrilling decider to help Awadhe Warriors edge 4-3 past Chennai Smashers on the opening day of the Bengaluru leg of the Premier Badminton League season 4 on Monday.
With the teams tied at 3-3, Son outright dominated Rajiv Ouseph and won in straight sets of 15-6, 15-6. That moment of brilliance took his team to the second position in the league table. This will go a long way in qualifying for the semifinal round with few matches left for teams to play.
Awadhe inaugurated the match on a right note, recording a crucial victory in the men’s doubles. It was the pair Mathias Christiansen and Yang Lee which brought home two points in the side’s Trump match. The duo simply sailed past Chris Adcock and Sumeeth Reddy in sets of 15-8, 15-5. The one-sided contest took just 20 minutes to reach conclusion.
The following match, a men’s singles tie, was one-sided in a similar fashion. Awadhe’s Lee Keun ranked World No. 29, easily took out Feng Chong (World No. 60) in straight games of 15-7, 15-13.
With Chennai 0-3 down, it was all up to Hyun Sung to keep her side’s hopes of a Tie win alive. And she did exactly that by putting it across B. Zhang 15-13, 15-8. The World No. 9 and the 2015 World Championship bronze medallist efficiently used her tall frame to demonstrate outstanding court coverage and smashes. Her flawless play led the United States’ Zhang to make multiple unforced errors at important moments in the proceedings.
Sung’s epic trump win reduced the deficit to 3-2 win and seemed to breathe some life back in Chennai outfit. The stage was all set for an exciting mixed doubles contest.
Chennai’s accomplished English-husband-wife pair of Chris and Gabrielle Adcock took the last match’s momentum with a win in the first game against local favourite Ashwini Ponnappa and Christiansen. The second game belonged to the Awadhe Warriors, as Ashwini and Mathias ensured a comfortable win of 15-9. In the do-or-die encounter, both the teams went toe-to-toe to clinch every point that they could manage.
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Although Christiansen-Ashwini sat on a relatively big advantage of 14-10, the Adcocks, went on a point scoring spree, winning 5 points on the trot. That sealed the fourth match by 15-14 with both the teams locked at 3-3.
Awadhe Warrior’s World No. 5 Son then ensured that a resurgent Chennai did not make any further inroads with an easy win over Rajiv Ouseph.
Awadhe Warriors 4-3 Chennai Smashers
Yang Lee – Mathias Christiansen (Trump Match) vs Chris Adcock – Sumeeth Reddy | 15-8, 15-5
Lee Keun vs Feng Chong | 15-7, 15-13
B. Zhang vs Hyun Sung (Trump Match) | 13-15, 8-15
Christiansen – Ashwini Ponnappa vs Chris Adcock – Gabrielle Adcock | 13-15, 15-9, 14-15
Wan Son vs Rajiv Ouseph | 15-6, 15-6
— PBL India (@PBLIndiaLive) January 7, 2019