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PBL: Gilmour does the star turn

Smashing show: Kirsty Gilmour turned it on in the decisive clash against Vu Thi Thrang.

Smashing show: Kirsty Gilmour turned it on in the decisive clash against Vu Thi Thrang.   | Photo Credit: G. Ramakrishna

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Helps Smash Masters put it past Raptors

Kirsty Gilmour of Ahmedabad Smash Masters produced the kind of form her teammates looked for in the decisive final match to outclass Vu Thi Thrang 15-8, 15-13 and help the team win 4-3 against Bengaluru Raptors in the PBL here on Friday.

It was a near-flawless performance from the World No. 28 against the Vietnamese girl, a former Youth Olympics bronze medallist. The Scot was too good with her precise smashes and deft returns at the net.

In the first match, the formidable mixed doubles combine of R. Satwiksairaj and N. Sikki Reddy ensured a winning start for Ahmedabad with a hard-fought win against Marcus Ellis and Lauren Smith in what was the trump match for the team.

Then, Sourabh Verma of Ahmedabad, coming in for former World champion Viktor Axelsen, rose to the occasion with an impressive win over the higher-rated B. Sai Praneeth.

Former World No. 1 K. Srikanth of Bengaluru kept the team in the hunt with a brilliant display against Daren Liew, even though he dropped the second game.

Winning the first game easily, Srikanth was surprised by the opponent in the second when the latter played a more aggressive game. In the decider, Srikanth was in a hurry, wrapping up a 11-0 lead, before Liew could realise what was happening.

Only with World No. 8 Srikanth making some unforced errors and Liew showing glimpses of his ability, there was some fight towards the end but not before the former finished off the game in style with his trademark half-smash which left the opponent in awe.

Then, the men’s doubles combine of Ahsan Mohammad and Hendra Setiawan of Bengaluru ensured that the team scores was tied at three-all b y winning the trump match against K. Nandagopal and Chun Hei Reginald Lee in straight games.

The results: Ahmedabad Smash Masters bt Bengaluru Raptors 4-3 (R. Satwiksairaj & N. Sikki Reddy (T) bt Marcus Ellis & Lauren Smith 13-15, 15-11, 15-14; Sourabh Verma bt B. Sai Praneeth 15-11, 11-15, 15-14; Daren Liew lost to K. Srikanth 9-15, 15-6, 11-15; K. Nandagopal & Chun Hei Reginald Lee lost to Ahsan Mohammad & Hendra Setiawan (T) 13-15, 9-15; Kirsty Gilmour bt Vu Th Thrang 15-8, 15-13).

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Printable version | Jan 18, 2020 2:45:29 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/other-sports/pbl-gilmour-does-the-star-turn/article25853341.ece

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