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PBL: Awadhe Warriors combat Hyderabad Hunters

Visitors beat hosts 4-3 in Premier Badminton League tie

Hyderabad: The Saina Nehwal-led Awadhe Warriors came out with another stupendous performance to beat hosts Hyderabad Hunters 4-3 at the Gachibowli Indoor Stadium and more or less seal their place in the semi-finals of the Premier Badminton League (PBL) on Saturday.

Awadhe Warriors' Vrushali Gummadi plays a shot against Supanida K of Hyderabad Hunters during a Premier Badminton League tie in Hyderabad on Saturday. Pic/PTI
Awadhe Warriors' Vrushali Gummadi plays a shot against Supanida K of Hyderabad Hunters during a Premier Badminton League tie in Hyderabad on Saturday. Pic/PTI 

The Warriors clinched the first three matches to pocket four points but the hosts came back well to win the next two and kitty three points. This is the Warriors' third victory on the trot, having lost the opener, while the Hunters have now lost two out of the three ties played. Captain Saina did not play the opening women's singles contest.

But that did not let the Warriors down as Gummadi Vrushali gave them a fantastic start by beating Supanida Katethong of the Hunters 15-7, 15-11 to take one point for the visitors.

"Great win for our team to start the tie. Supanida is a highly qualified player and it gives you a lot of confidence after beating a player of such calibre. A win in the opening match is always a huge boost for the rest of the players. I am happy I won," Vrushali said.

Then Warriors' top men's doubles pair of Cai Yun and Bodin Issara also defeated the experienced combine of Markis Kido and Carsten Mogensen 15-10, 15-12 in what was the visitors' Trump Match, giving the Lucknow-based team a 3-0 lead.

Parupalli Kashyap of the Hunters was expected to defeat B Sai Praneeth of the Warriors in the first men's singles but lost 15-8, 15-5. At 4-0, the tie was beyond reach for the Hunters.

Lee Chong Wei stepped on to the court for the Hunters' Trump Match and he did not disappoint this time, taking two points for the hosts by beating exuberant Thai left-hander Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk 15-5, 15-9 for his first victory in three matches in the six-team tournament.

Hosts' Jwala Gutta and Markis Kido then earned a thrilling come-from-behind victory to beat Christinna Pedersen and Bodin Issara 12-15, 14-15.

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