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Awadhe Warriors steal the show on their Home Ground at the Star Sports Premier Badminton League

Win the tie 4-3 over Delhi Acers     

Lucknow, January 04, 2016: Post a nail biting, back to back badminton matches in Mumbai, the Star Sports Premier Badminton League moved to the Lucknow leg today. With the hosts, Awadhe Warriors taking on Delhi Acers, all were waiting for an action- packed drama to unfold in the ‘City of Nawabs’.

While in their first tie in Mumbai the Awadhe Warriors got their Trump Match wrong, this time around they placed their bet on World No. 2 Saina Nehwal while the visiting team put the responsibility on their Mixed Doubles pair – Akshay Dewalkar and Gabrielle Adcock.

The first match of the Men’s Singles between Tommy Sugiarto of Delhi Acers and S Tanongsak of Awadhe Warriors was a high voltage game as both the players gave a tough fight to each other. While S Tanongsak mixed his shots well, Tommy was well alert of his opponent’s moves and countered each shot beautifully. This helped Tommy Sugiarto to win the match in two games and give his team 1 point on the scorecard.

The Women’s Singles and the Trump Game for Awadhe Warriors saw Saina Nehwal making a slow start, allowing her opponent P C Thulasi to take a lead over her. But not wasting any time, Saina immediately took control of the first game and won it convincingly. The second game saw Thulasi trying to make a desperate comeback but Saina was too good for her and with every shot the latter looked more and more formidable. Her strong shots helped Saina to not allow Thulasi to make a comeback as she went on to win the game convincingly. It being the Trump Match, the win allowed Awadhe Warriors to earn two crucial points and the scorecard read 2-1 in favor of the hosts.

Post Awadhe Warriors victory of their Trump Match, the team had an aim to win as many matches as possible of the remaining three as this would ensure them to get the tie in their name. The Men’s Doubles went on to be an electrifying match which got many wanting for more. The match even produced a rally of 66 shots, being the longest till now in the League. While Bodini Issara and Cai Yun won the first game but what needs a worthy mention is the manner in which Koo Keat Kien and Tan Boon Heaong gave a tough fight and did not make it easy for them. The second game witnessed the same story as both the teams gave each other a neck to neck challenge. With the game tied at 14-14 in the second game it could have been anyone’s game. But it was Awadhe Warriors who were lucky to have won the crucial point and which helped them win the match, taking the score to 3-1.

The Men’s Singles was a crucial game for the teams as a win for Awadhe Warriors would mean winning the tie and a win for Delhi Acers would mean, they continue being Alive in the tie and post that aim to win their next match which was even their Trump Match. It was Sai Praneeth of Awadhe Warriors who met Rajiv Ouseph of Delhi Acers. Realizing the importance of the match both the players were alert giving each other a tough challenge. While Sai Praneeth made a slow and hesitant start, he made a confident comeback to take the first and the second game and the match for his team. With this win the scorecard tilted further towards the Warriors at 4-1.

With the tie already in Awadhe Warriors name, Delhi Acers looked at ending the day on a high by winning their Trump Match. The Mixed Doubles pair of Delhi Acers – Akshay Dewalkar and Gabrielle Adcock had a job to complete while Awadhe Warriors duo Hendra Gunwan and K Maneesha looked at continuing their team’s winning form. But it was Delhi Acers who kept their cool and won the match and the Trump for their team. The win allowed them to close the point’s gap and the tie ended at 4-3 with the Warriors winning the same.

Speaking post the win, Tommy Sugiarto (DA) said “He was very good. While I won the match in two games but he gave me a tough fight. I had to keep a complete check on his shots as he mixed it very well. I am happy I won and opened the account for my team”.

Commenting on the win, Saina Nehwal (AW) said “She started off well and she is good with her net play and I enjoyed playing those shots with her. It is great to win in front of your home crowd. It was my first match of the League and it produced a productive result as it was a Trump match for our side. We hope to win the tie from here”.

After the victory the Men’s Doubles pair said “The score card only shows that how tough this game was for us and we are pretty happy that we prevailed finally. They were too good and we enjoyed every long rally that we shared with them. Definitely Saina’s win in the last game boosted our confidence which eventually helped us win this game”.

Jubilant after his victory, Sai Praneeth (AW) said “Rajiv had taken a handy lead in the first game of the match but I just focussed on the basics and managed to win. We have won 3 consecutive games and I am delighted that this win has helped my team to get the tie in our name. I hope we win the next one too and add one more point to our tally”.

Speaking on their winning the Trump Match, Akshay Dewalkar /Gabrielle Adcock (DA) said “While we had lost the days tie but it was important that we win the match as this would have closed the point’s gap. Really excited that we beat them with a huge margin in the third game”.

The match tally was as follows:

Awadhe Warriors vs Delhi Acers: 4-3 (points)

Tommy Sugiarto (DA) beat S Tanongsak (AW)   15-13, 15-11
Saina Nehwal (AW)  beat PC Thulasi (DA) 15-9, 15-10
Bodin Issara/Cai Yun (AW)  beat Koo Keat Kien/Tan Boon Heong (DA)

 

15-12, 15-14
Sai Praneeth (AW)  beat Rajiv Ouseph (DA)

 

15-12, 15-9
Akshay Dewalkar /Gabrielle Adcock (DA) beat Hendra Gunwan/ K Maneesha (AW) 15-14 13-15 15-05

 

Fastest Smash of the Day (Male): S Tanongsak – 403KMPH

Fastest Smash of the Day (Female) – Saina Nehwal– 323 KMPH

Longest Rally of the Day – Koo Keat Kien/Tan Boon Heong – 66 shots against Bodin Issara/Cai Yun

Most Valuable Player – Bodin Issara

 

 

Schedule for 5th  January 2016 Star Sports PBL:

Delhi Acers vs Chennai Smashers: 2.30pm (Lucknow)

Mumbai Rockets vs Bengaluru Top Guns: 6.30pm (Lucknow)

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