India's ace shuttler wins crucial Trump match to give Awadhe Warriors unassailable 4-1 lead over Delhi
Lucknow: World No 2 Saina Nehwal notched up a comfortable straight-game victory in their Trump match over PC Thulashi in women's singles to guide Awadhe Warriors to a convincing victory over Delhi Acers in their Premier Badminton League (PBL) match here yesterday.
Awadhe Warrior's Saina Nehwal in action against Delhi Acers' PC Thulasi during a PBL in Lucknow yesterday. Pic/PTI
Olympic bronze medallist Saina, B Sai Praneeth and doubles pair of Bodin Issara and Cai Yun won their respective matches to take an unassailable 4-1 lead over Delhi in their second tie, after they had gone down fighting against Mumbai Rockets 2-3 in their last clash.
Star of Awadhe Warriors' last match S Tanongsak started the proceedings as he played the opening men's singles against Delhi Acers' Tommy Sugiarto but the Thai shuttler could not repeat a winning performance as the former World No 3 Indonesian registered a 15-13, 15-11 win to draw the first blood in the five-match tie.
"He was very good. While I won the match in two games but he gave me a tough fight. I had to keep a complete check on his shots as he mixed it very well. I am happy I won and opened the account for my team," Sugiarto said.
Saina, who had skipped the inaugural match on Saturday due to a foot injury, enthralled the audience with a dominating game to take her team to a 2-1 lead after beating PC Thulasi 15-9, 15-10 in the women's singles match, which Awadhe Warriors had selected as the Trump match.
Thulasi didn't have answers to Saina low returns as the Warriors captain went into the break at 8-5 with Thulashi struggling to keep the shuttle on court. In the end, Saina wrapped the first game 15-9.
Cheered on by PBL Brand Ambassador Akshay Kumar and Nimrat Kaur at the stands, Saina produced some spectacular shots which Thulashi failed to negotiate.
Saina lead 6-2 and then hit the net twice but she never lost the tempo and continued to lead 8-5.