Bengaluru, Jan 10: Chennai Smashers displayed yet another stellar performance to beat Mumbai Rockets 4-3 and qualify for the knock-outs of the Vodafone Premier Badminton League 2017 at the Koramangala Indoor Stadium on Tuesday (Jan 10).
Before the start of the match all eyes were on PV Sindhu of Smashers who was expected to deliver the goods for her against the Sung Ji Hyun of Rockets.
Mumbai who has been one of the teams to beat and going through a great phase started the match with a win. But Chennai won the next two matches including their trump match to go 3-1 in the tie.
With a 3-1 advantage in the Smashers favour, Sindhu of Smashers took on Sung Ji Hyun of Rockets in a crucial match. Lot was at stake for Sindhu in this match as a win here would have sealed the tie in Chennai's favour with a match in hand.
Sindhu going through a great run in the tournament started off well in the opening game and after an intense encounter won the game 11-8.
In the second game, Sindhu started from and dominated from the onset. The game had a nail biting end as both the players wouldn't let the other gain a big lead. With the game tied at 10-10 it could've gone either way but, Sindhu held on and an unforced error by Sung Ji saw Sindhu win the match 12-10.
In the last match of the day, Rockets pulled one back after their men's doubles pair of Lee Yong Dae and Nipitphon Puangpuapech
Earlier in the day HS Prannoy of Rockets continued his stellar form as he beat his compatriot Parupalli Kashyap of Smashers in the first match of the tie to give his team an early advantage. The win not only helped Mumbai seize the initial momentum but also saw Prannoy end the league stages unbeaten winning five out of five matches.
Coming into the match with great confidence, Prannoy started the opening game on an attacking note and blitzed his way to a comfortable 4-1, but Kashyap caught up to reduce the gap to 3-4.
Both the players kept on winning points in regular intervals and at one point were tied 8-8 and it looked like the game could go in anyone's favour. However, it was Prannoy who held on to his nerve and won the game 11-9.
With a game down, Kashyap came out a more aggressive player in the second game and took a 3-0 lead. Prannoy tried to comeback but it was Kashyap who was in a better position to win the game.
With 9-7 up, it should have been easy for Kashyap to wrap up the game but his opponent showed great resiliency and from a cusp of a defeat won the game 13-11 to win the match.
The second match of the day was the mixed doubles encounter between Chris Adcock/Gabrielle Adcock of Chennai Smashers and Chirag Shetty/Nadiezda Zeiba of Mumbai Rockets. Playing in their trump match, the Chennai pair went down in the first game.
But they made a strong comeback to dominate the second game 11-2. With the match tied 1-1, Smashers dominated the decider and won the game 11-7 to win the match.
In the third match, Tommy Sugiarto of Smashers made it 3-1 for his team as he overcame a strong challenge from Ajay Jayaram of Mumbai Rockets to win the match 8-11, 11-2, 11-5.
With the win Chennai now have moved to the third position on the points table and will face Awadhe Warriors on Wednesday (Jan 11), with a high profile clash between Sindhu and Saina Nehwal likely on the cards.