PBL: Despite Saina Nehwal's absence, Awadhe Warriors smash Chennai
Hyderabad: The Awadhe Warriors virtually assured itself a berth in the semi-finals but it turned out to be a disappointing day for the Hyderabad Hunters in the ongoing Premier Badminton League (PBL) yesterday.
Awadhe Warriors' B Sai Praneeth celebrates after defeating Chennai Smashers' Sony Dwi Kuncoro in a Premier Badminton League match at Gachibowli Indoor Stadium in Hyderabad yesterday. Pic/PTI
The Warriors registered an emphatic 4-1 win over Chennai Smashers in the evening match but the Hunters were out of contention for a semi-final berth following their 1-4 loss against Mumbai Rockets early in the day at the Gachibowli indoor stadium.
Awadhe gained two points with a win in the mixed doubles clash, which was the Trump match for both sides, and bagged two more points by defeating Chennai in men's doubles and one of the two men's singles' matches.
Chennai secured two points, including the win of India's star shuttler PV Sindhu in women's singles, but lost one point after the team's loss in the Trump match.
The win for Awadhe came despite the absence of its star shuttler Saina Nehwal, who was not part of the team yesterday. It was World No 34 B Sai Praneeth who earned the first win for Awade after pulling off a hard-fought victory over Chennai's Sony Dwi Kuncoro, an experienced Indonesian shuttler.
Sai fights back
Praneeth lost the first game 12-15, but fought back to win the remaining two games 15-8 and 15-13. With both players leaving no stone unturned, the decisive third game turned into a tense battle and Praneeth had the last laugh. After winning the match, Praneeth said: "It's never easy to come back after losing the first game."