Bangalore: World No 11 Tommy Sugiarto turned out to be a hero for the Delhi Acers as he led his side to the summit clash of the Premier Badminton League (PBL) with his 15-11, 15-10 win over Chennai Smashers’ Brice Leverdez in the trump match yesterday.
Delhi Acers' Ajay Jayaram in full flight against Chennai Smashers' Sony Dwi Kuncoro during the first semi-final of the Premier Badminton League at the Kanteerava Stadium in Bangalore yesterday. Pics/PTI
The scores were level 2-2 when Sugiarto took the courts and courtesy his win, Delhi edged Chennai 3-2 in the semi-finals.
In the first game, Sugiarto was leading 10-5 at one stage but Brice managed to reduce the margin to 11-13.
However, he could not match the agility and skillful movements of Sugiarto. In the enthralling second game, Sugiarto kept the nerves at the end prompting Brice to commit two crucial errors, which saw Delhi clinching the tie and entering for the title clash.
Delhi Acers' Tommy Sugiarto
India’s star women’s shuttler PV Sindhu consolidated the hopes of Chennai to qualify into the final by thrashing PC Thulasi in the trump match 15-6, 15-7, which gave Chennai an overall 3-2 points lead. Down 0-2 in the tie, it was the Chennai duo — Chris Adcock and Pia Zebadiah — that kept the hopes alive by beating Delhi’s pair of Gabrielle Adcock and Koo Keat Kien 15-9,15-14.
Sindhu picked the first game of the fourth match quite easily over Thulasi, who failed to repeat her own performance last night when she had denied Mumbai Rockets’ trump match. From the very beginning the lanky girl from Andhra Pradesh prevailed over Thulasi, who found it tough to cope up to the deft manoeuvres and power-packed smashes of her opponent.
Sindhu was at her best as she used her height to her advantage, making Thulasi clueless of her movements in the court and variety of stroke-plays she had in the store.
In men’s doubles, Koo Keat Kien and Tan Boon Heong of Delhi Acers began with great elan, by clinching a thrilling encounter 15-10, 15-14 over Chris Adcock and Pranaav Chopra.