Awadhe Warriors post 4-1 win over Chennai, Hunters out of hunt in PBL

Hyderabad, Jan 11: 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) here today.

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 here.

Sai Praneeth of Awadhe Warriors celebrates after defeating Sony Dwi Kuncoro of Chennai Smashers

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 today.

It was World No. 34 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.

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. I committed a lot of mistakes in the first game and Sony took full advantage of it. I knew if I get rhythm I will play better and that's what happened in the rest of the match and the result is in front of all."

In the Men's doubles match, the combination of Cai Yun and Hendra Gunawan gave Awadhe a point with a 15-13 15-11 win over Pranav Chopra and Toby Ng of Chennai Smashers.

However, the star attraction of the tie was the Women's singles match between PV Sindhu and upcoming shuttler Vrushali G from Andra Pradesh and it was the World No. 12 who continued her unbeaten run with a 15-7,15-3 win in the third match of the rubber.

In the other Men's Singles match of the tie, Chennai's Brice Leverdez defeated Awadhe's Tanongsak S 15-13, 15-9 to bag another point for his team. Awadhe thus has secured 17 points in the tournament.

Earlier in the day, rising Indian shuttler HS Prannoy Earlier in the day, rising Indian shuttler H S Prannoy stunned compatriot Parupalli Kashyap in the hosts' Trump match as Mumbai Rockets trounced Hyderabad Hunters.

Gurusaidutt defeated Hyderabad's upcoming shuttler Siril Varma, runner-up in the world junior championship, 15-12 15-4 in a Men's Singles match to give two points to Mumbai in their Trump match.

However, it was Prannoy's 15-11, 15-13 victory against Kashyap in the other Men's Singles - the Trump match of Hyderabad - which dashed Hyderabad's chances in the five-match tie. After losing in the Trump match, Hyderabad lost one point, while Mumbai gained one.

After the surprise win, Prannoy said: "This was a very important match for us as we had already lost the first two matches and I am happy to have opened our team's account. This was a Trump match for them but we managed to snatch a win."

The Mixed Doubles match between Jwala Gutta-Markis Kido of Hyderabad and Mumbai's Kamilla Juhl-Vladimir Ivanov also turned out to be a disappointment for the host as the Denkark-Russian combo beat the Indian-Indonesian pair 15-8 15-8 in the match.

Hyderabad gained two points after winning the Women's Singles and Men's Doubles matches, but the loss in the Trump match quashed their hopes. Supanida K of Hyderabad saw off Mumbai's Liu Zi Die 13-15 15-14 15-14 in the Women's singles, while men's doubles pair of Carsten Mogensen and Markis Kido notched up a 15-7 15-14 win over Chayut T and Vladimir Ivanov of Mumbai.


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