Lucknow, Jan 6 (IANS) Hosts Awadhe Warriors came back well with a dominating performance in the Premier Badminton League (PBL) to outshine Bengaluru Top Guns at the Babu Banarasi Das Indoor Stadium here on Wednesday.
The Saina Nehwal-led Warriors despite being 0-2 down in first two matches, came back strongly to beat Top Guns 4-1.
The tie started with the mixed doubles match where Top Guns’ Ashwini Ponnappa partnering with Khim Wah Lim defeated Awadhe Warriors’ Bodin Issara and K. Maneesha 15-13, 11-15, 15-13 in 49 minutes to take a 1-0 lead.
“The match was an absolute thriller and we are happy to win this one. Our opponents came back strongly in the second game and we were trailing in the third game, but we fought brilliantly in the last and opened our account,” Ashwini said after the win.
Next up was the men’s singles where Sameer Verma of Bengaluru beat Sai Praneeth (Awadhe) 15-13, 15-14 comfortably to help their side take a healthy 2-0 lead over Awadhe.
“I am pleased after this victory as our team has now two points lead over the home side. Sai made the task difficult in the second game but I absorbed the pressure and doubled our teams lead,” Verma said after his win.
The next matches of the tie saw, World No. 9 Kidambi Srikanth (Bengaluru) lose to Tanongsak S. (Awadhe) in their Trump match.
Tanongsak took just 32 minutes to outclass Srikanth 15-11, 15-10 to level the score 1-1 in the tie. Buy losing the Trump Match Bengaluru got negative points (minus 1) while Awadhe opened their account to make it 1-1.
“I knew the importance of this match as we lost the opening two matches. It was a Trump match for Top Guns but I got better of the pressure and managed to beat one of the best player in India. I am proud that I turned the tables in favour for my team and I think this win will prove to be the biggest upset for the day,” Tanongsak said after his impressive win.
The penultimate match of the day was the women’s singles where Saina Nehwal (Awadhe) defeated Suo Di (Bengaluru) 15-10, 13-15, 15-8 to help her side take 3-1 lead over the opponent. Saina’s match was the Trump Match for the Warriors which they won and got vital bonus points (plus 2).
With Warriors leading the tie, the last match of the day was men’s doubles where Bodin Issara and Cai Yun (Awadhe) defeated Hoon Thien How and Khim Wah Lim (Bengaluru) 15-12, 15-6 in a one-sided battle to win the tie for their side 4-1.