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PBL: Mumbai Rockets blast off in style

Mumbai Rockets started their inaugural Premier Badminton League (PBL) campaign with a 2-1 win over on Saturday.

Mumbai Rockets' RMV Gurusai Dutt returns to Awadhe Warriors' B Sai Praneeth in the first men's singles match of the PBL on Saturday. Pic/Atul Kamble
Mumbai Rockets' RMV Gurusai Dutt returns to Awadhe Warriors' B Sai Praneeth in the first men's singles match of the PBL on Saturday. Pic/Atul Kamble 

Although Nehwal opted out of Saturday's game due to a foot injury, she followed every moment of the action closely from the sidelines.

First up, Mumbai's RMV Gurusai Dutt registered a come-from-behind 14-15,15-10, 15-8 win over Warriors' B Sai Praneeth in the men's singles tie that lasted 40 minutes. Praneeth dominated Game 1 racing away to a 13-6 lead, before Dutt clawed back for 14-14.

Also read: Blow for Awadhe Warriors as injury forces Saina Nehwal out of PBL opener

However, eventually Praneeth won it 15-14. Dutt came back with renewed vigour in Game 2 and won it 15-10. The momentum then saw him win the decider 15-8.

“It was a tough match as he (Praneeth) won the first set. I knew I had to come back harder. I am happy I lived up to the expectations of my team,” Dutt later said.

Warriors' Chinese-Indonesian doubles pair of Cai Yun and Hendra Gunawan then failed to use the 'Trump match' to their advantage, losing 11-15, 11-15 to Mumbai's Russian-Danish pair of Vladimir Ivanov and Mathias Boe in 24 minutes. The defeat saw the visitors lose a point, and left them trailing (-1) to Mumbai's two points.

Later, Mumbai's G Ruthvika Shivani took just 21 minutes to wrap up her women's singles match against Warriors' Gummadi Vrushali 15-13, 15-10 to give the hosts an unassailable 3: (-1) lead, leaving the last two matches — the men's singles and mixed doubles — inconsequential.

Saensomboonsuk Tanongsak registered Warriors' first victory, beating HS Prannoy 15-12, 14-15, 15-14 in Mumbai's 'Trump match' during the second men's singles match. The win helped Warriors bounce back from their negative score (-1) to zero again.

In the mixed doubles, Warriors' Bodin Issara and Christinna Pedersen beat Mumbai's duo of Ivanov and Kamilla Juhl 15-9, 14-15, 15-14.

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