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Premier Badminton League | Hunters finally register a win

P.V. Sindhu leads in the Hyderbad Hunters team on to the court on Sunday.

P.V. Sindhu leads in the Hyderbad Hunters team on to the court on Sunday.   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Sindhu and Sourabh excel in the facile win over Awadhe Warriors

Three Indian stars shone brightly to hand Hyderabad Hunters its first win in the Premier Badminton League here on Sunday.

Sourabh Verma, P. V. Sindhu and N. Sikki Reddy — in mixed doubles, alongside Vladimir Ivanov — won their respective matches to down Awadhe Warriors.

All eyes were on World No. 6 Sindhu, who came on to the court with her team waving an India flag to mark the Republic Day in front a sizeable crowd at the Babu Banarasi Das Badminton Academy.

Sindhu, thanks to her sharp play, wore down Tanvi Lad 15-8, 15-8 as the Hunters took an unassailable four-point lead.

In the Trump match that preceded the women’s singles, doubles specialist N. Sikki Reddy combined well with Ivanov to script a 15-12, 15-14 win over Shin Baek Cheol and Christinna Pederson.

The Hunters duo took time to gain momentum in both games. It was a nip-and-tuck affairs where the two seized the initiative at decisive moments. Cheol and Pederson led 4-0 in the second game and seemed to be riding the crest of a wave, but couldn’t sustain it.

The contest was closer between Sourabh Verma and Shubhankar Dey, who knew each other’s game well. Eventually, Sourabh prevailed with his stated strategy of “mixing it up” as the determined Shubhankar was able to retrieve nearly everything that was thrown at him. Shubhankar was potent with his smashesand for much of the time, it seemed there was nothing to choose between the two.

Sourabh was enterprising and solid at the net and repeatedly played the drop-shot from the back-court, choosing not to employ his smash. Despite Shubhankar’s efforts — he fell on the floor a few times to retrieve — Sourabh came through 14-15, 15-12, 15-10.

Later, commenting on his win, Shubhankar told Sportstar “I was just trying to mix everything up. At one point, my smashes were picked comfortably by him. So I thought, ‘let me mix it up’ and I’m happy that it worked.”

Warriors brought down the deficit in the other trump match, the men’s singles battle between Wong Wing Ki Vincent and Daren Liew. It was a consolation win as Vincent brushed aside his opponent 15-14, 15-9.

The result: Awadhe Warriors lost to Hyderabad Rockets (Shubhankar Dey lost to Sourabh Verma 15-14, 12-15, 10-15; Christinna Pederson & Shin Baek Cheol lost to Vladimir Ivanov & N. Sikki Reddy 12-15, 14-15; Tanvi Lad lost to P.V. Sindhu 8-15, 8-15; Wong Wing Ki Vincent bt Daren Liew 15-14, 15-9; Ko Sung Hyun & Shin Baek Cheol vs Vladimir Ivanov & Ben Lane 15-12, 15-8).

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Printable version | Feb 28, 2020 10:00:54 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/other-sports/premier-badminton-league-hunters-finally-register-a-win/article30659796.ece

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