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PBL: Chennai Smashers beat Delhi Acers, register 2nd win

Lucknow: Chennai Smashers put up a clinical display to outplay Delhi Acers 4-3 and register their second consecutive win in an exciting Premier Badminton League (PBL) encounter here yesterday.

The Smashers had earlier defeated Mumbai Rockets 3-2 in their opening tie two days ago. For Delhi Acers, it is their second straight defeat, having lost 2-3 to Sania Nehwal-led Awadhe Warriors here yesterday.

It was the Smashers who started the tie on a positive note winning the men's doubles match. In the opening match of tie, the pair of Chris Adcock and Pranaav Jerry Chopra got the better of Malaysian duo of Koo Keat Kien and Tan Boon Heong 15-12 15-14 in the men's doubles match to give Chennai the lead.

But India's Ajay Jayaram brought Delhi Acers back in contention with a dominating performance to tame Simon Santosa 15-6 15-9 in just 26 minutes in the first men's singles to level the scores for his side.

Jayaram, playing his first match of the league, was understandably happy with the positive start. "This was my first match of the league and plus I had the responsibility of opening my team's account in the tie yesterday, so a win was the only option for me. I enjoyed the game especially the drop shots which never allowed Simon (Santosa) to get settled," he said after the win.

The mixed doubles match was a battle between husband and wife, Chris Adcock and Gabrielle Adcock. While Chris turned out for Chennai Smashers partnering Pia Zebadiah, Gabrielle paired with Koo Keat Kien and represented Delhi Acers.

It was a hard-fought encounter which went down to the wire but in the end Chris had the last laugh as he and his partner Pia came from a game down to edge past his wife Gabrielle and Koo Keat Kien 14-15 15-4 15-14 in a neck-and-neck fight that went for 42 minutes to give Chennai Smashers a 2-1 lead.

World no. 12 and two-time World Championship bronze medallist PV Sindhu then turned out for the Chennai outfit in their Trump Match and hardly broke a sweat to get past PV Thulasi 15-5 15-4 to seal the women's singles affair. It was neck and and neck till the first two points of the opening game before Sindhu pocketed six straight points to race to a 8-2 lead.

Thulasi managed to sneak a point or two but she was no match for two-time World Championship bronze medallist Sindhu, who finally sealed the game 15-5 in just 10 minutes. The second game was no different as in no time Sindhu took a 10-3 lead over her opponent, who looked completely out of sorts.

From there on victory was a just a formality for the lanky Hyderabadi girl, ranked 12th in the world, as he wrapped up the match in just 24 minutes to give Chennai Smashers an unassailable 4-1 lead.

In the final match of the tie, Delhi Acers fielded world no.11 Tommy Sugiarto for the Trump Match and he did not disappoint his side, recording an easy 15-4 15-11 win over Brice Leverdez but it was not enough to give the Delhi side their elusive first win in the tournament.

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