PBL: Saina-less Awadhe Warriors defeat Hyderabad Hunters 4-3

Hyderabad, Jan 9: India's top shuttler Saina Nehwal was not part of the action but Awadhe Warriors still proved to be good enough for Hyderabad Hunters, as they eked out a 4-3 win in the Premier Badminton League (PBL) here tonight.

Vrushali G gave a head start to Awadhe Warriors with a 2-0 victory over Supanida K in the women's singles, the first match of the day.

 Lee Chong Wei of Hyderabad Hunters plays a shot against Tanongsak S of Awadhe Warriors. Lee won

The 17-year-old Vrushali, an upcoming player from Andhra Pradesh and a product of Gopichand Badminton Academy, gave her experienced rival a run for her money and won the match 15-7 15-11.

Awadhe's star women's singles player Saina did not play today, though she cheered for Vrushali. After the victory Vrushali said, "Great win for our team to start the tie. Supanida is a highly qualified player and it gives you a lot of confidence after beating a player of such calibre.

"A win in the opening match is always a huge boost for the rest of the players. I am happy I won the game and from here I hope we gather more points and win the tie."

Awadhe consolidated their early lead by securing two points after a win in the Trump match of men's doubles against the Hyderabad team. Bodin Issara and Cai Yun of Awadhe had an easy 15-10, 15-12 win over Carsten Mogensen and Markis Kido.

Hyderabad's star men's singles player and crowd favourite Parupalli Kashyap, too, went down fighting to his junior rival Sai Praneeth in the first of the two men's singles match.

Kashyap started off with a 15-6 win in the first game, but Praneeth proved to be a tough customer as he went on to pocket the next two games 15-8 and 15-5.

The seasoned Kashyap, a Commonwealth Games medallist, struggled to come back into the game as the gritty Sai Praneeth put up a spirited show.

Former world number one and two-time Olympic silver medallist, Lee Chong Wei of Hyderabad, beat Tanongsak S of Awadhe 15-8, 15-9 in the second men's singles.

Lee Chong Wei said, "A tough day for our team I would say. We have already lost the tie but I have won the Trump game which will close the points gap. Hopefully we should win the last match and earn another point."

In the mixed doubles, the pair of Jwala Gutta and Markis Kido of Hyderabad defeated Bodin Issara and Christinna 12-15 15-14 15-9.


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