PBL: Prannoy, Sourabh star in Ahmedabad’s win over NE Warriors

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Guwahati, Dec 27 (IANS) World No. 1 Tai Tzu Ying, India’s H.S. Prannoy and Sourabh Verma comfortably won their respective single’s matches to put Ahmedabad Smash Masters beyond North Eastern Warriors’ reach in the Vodafone Premier Badminton League here on Tuesday.

Taking the court for the third fixture of the evening, Tai Tzu of Taiwan whipped the Warriors’ Michelle Li (Canada) 15-6, 15-10 in the Women’s Singles to give them a handy 2-1 lead. As the team’s Trump Player, she also delivered the extra point as expected.

Tai Tzu showed her class in the opening game itself, moving to 9-2 straight away. She made the most of an error prone Michelle to win it 15-6.

The second game proved to be much more of a contest, with Michelle taking the early lead at 3-1. She sneaked up to 6-3 before Tai Tzu began her catch up act. She quickly made it 6-6 and they went together till 10-10, with each trying to assert herself.

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But Tai Tzu then took charge to wrap it up at 10.

In another match, World No. 10 Prannoy then saved four game points to outplay World No. 11 Tzu Wei Wang (Taiwan), to keep his undefeated record in the PBL since the last season intact. His eighth successive victory in the League gave the Smashers an invincible 3-1 lead.

Prannoy was confidence personified, defending brilliantly and frustrating Tzu Wei with his quicksilver returns. He streaked ahead 8-4 and built on it to win the first game 15-10.

The second game was a slightly better contest, with Tzu Wei finally catching up with Prannoy at 8-8. He even went ahead 12-9, and stood on the brink of victory at 14-10. But Prannoy’s defensive play came to his rescue once again, winning the next 5 points for an amazing win.

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Earlier, another India player, Sourabh Verma tamed Pratul Joshi 15-10, 15-7 in a Men’s Singles to give them the first point.

Sourabh got the measure of Pratul quite early in the game. A compact defence and a stinging forehand smash were enough to rattle the World No. 104.

He barely had to stretch himself to lock the opening game at 10 points. He was even more dominant in the second game, wrapping it up in less than 15 minutes.

The NE Warriors got their only point so far, with Prajakta Sawant & Shin Baek Cheol taking the Mixed Doubles’ encounter.

The Indian-South Korean duo downed Kamilla Juhl (Denmark) & Lee Chun Hei Reginald (Hong Kong) 15-13, 15-13 to the delight of the cheering home fans.

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Prajakta & Shin Baek combined well to stay ahead of the Smash Masters’ pair all through the opening game. Shin Baek was particularly effective from the back of the court, setting up a number of key points.

Kamilla and Lee Chun Hei took an early 4-1 lead in the second game. But a string of unforced errors saw them give away the advantage, slipping to 5-7 and then 10-12.

But then, they claimed the next three points to shoot ahead 13-12. However, Shin Baek came up with a couple of winners to put the NE Warriors back in the lead.

He then forced Kamilla into an error near the net to wrap up the contest much to the delight of their fans.

–IANS

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