IBL: Pune Pistons edge Mumbai Masters

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IBL: Pune Pistons edge Mumbai Masters
Lucknow, Aug 18: Ashwini Ponnappa and her mixed doubles partner Joachim Fischer raised their game under pressure to guide Pune Pistons to a 3-2 win over Mumbai Masters in a see-saw encounter of the inaugural Indian Badminton League here on Saturday (August 17).

IBL Schedule

The two teams were locked 2-2 after four matches before Ponnappa and Fischer sealed it for Pune. "It's a happy feeling to sit on the top on the points tally table. Initially we both were not very strong but then we fought hard and won," said Ponnappa.

Ponnappa and Fischer defeated Pranav Chopra and Sikki Reddy 21-20 21-13 to give Pune their second consecutive victory taking them to the top of the points table. Hero of Mumbai's win against Banga Beats, Russian Vladmir Ivanov gave his team a good start by defeating Saurabh Verma 21-16 21-14 in the first match.

Saurabh failed to capitalise on a good start as Vladmir relied on his powerful smashes to outwit the Indian. In the second game, Saurabh offered resistance but Vladmir maintained his dominance and won 21-14. The next match was played between world number three Juliane Schenk of Pune and number 11 shuttler Tine Baun of Mumbai. Schenk lost the first game but came back fiercely in the second and third to beat Baun 11–21 21–10 11–7.

"It was a tough win and I am happy that I maintained my speed and mental balance. She was amazing in the second round but I am happy with the outcome," said Schenk. The third match went to Mumbai in which Vladmir once again displayed his power-game. He and his Indian partner Pranav Chopra defeated Rupesh Kumar and Sanave Thomas of Pune by 21-12 20-21 11-9.

PTI

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