Lucknow, January 06, 2016: Today was the last day of the Lucknow Leg and it was Awadhe Warriors who clashed against Bengaluru Top Guns. Today’s Tie saw the biggest upset of the day as K Srikanth playing the Trump Match for his team lost to S Tanongsak. The loss meant a huge gain for the Warriors who till then were trailing the Tie by 0-2, as they had lost their opening two matches. The win by Tanongsak allowed Warriors to bounce back and eventually win the Tie. Today’s win takes Awadhe Warriors on the top of the League table at 9 points.
The first match was good news for Bengaluru Top Guns as their mixed doubles pair Ashwini Ponnappa and Kim Wah Lim beat Bodin Issara and K Maneesha. While the Top Guns duo won the first game confidently they were immediately controlled by the opponents in the second game losing to the Warriors duo. The third game being the decider witnessed both Ponnappa and Lim mixing their shots well and which was complimented by very good net play by the former, allowing them to win the game and the match. This got Bengaluru Top Guns on a strong footing in the tie, resulting in the second match being very important for the Warriors as they had to register a win to keep their hopes alive in the Tie.
The second match between Sai Praneeth and Sameer Verma was vital game for Awadhe Warriors as a loss would weaken their position in the Tie. While Praneeth started the game with great confidence, Verma bounced back strongly to take the first game. The second game saw a similar story as Sai Praneeth started the proceedings strongly but was yet again held back by Sameer Verma as the latter won the match taking the Top Guns score to 2-0.
This was a Trump match for Bengaluru Top Guns as they fielded K Srikanth to win it against S Tanongsak. Much to the relief of the Warriors, Tanangsok played with great speed and grit. Tanongsak stunned Srikanth on many an occasion with his shots leaving the latter stunned. His determination helped him bag the first game 15-11 and giving hope to the Warriors that they can still win the Tie. The second game was a display of skill and talent as Tanongsak created some magical moments which many will remember for days to come. Tanongsak dominated the attack in the second game as he went on to win the match and which proved to be the biggest upset of today’s Tie. Before the match the Top Guns were leading the Tie by 2-0 but a loss in their Trump Match resulted in a point getting deducted from their tally and Warriors earned their 1 winning point. The scorecard post the match was tied at 1-1.
The match that everyone was waiting for was the clash against Saina Nehwal and Suo Di and was the Trump match for Awadhe Warriors. A win from here meant Awadhe went up the scorecard leaving the opponents behind. Saina started the game slowly and very soon the score was 6-1 in favor of Suo Di. But Saina soon bounced back to take the game 15-10 leaving her opponent dejected. The second game of the match saw Suo Di showcasing determination as she gave Saina a tough fight, going on to clinch the second game. This gave hope to the Top Guns as they got optimistic that Suo Di could achieve the same feat that S Tanonsak accomplished against Srikanth. Saina not wanting to allow Suo Di have the better of her started the third game with a purpose, to finish the game and match in her favor and give her team the crucial two points. She achieved it easily and gave her team a 3-1 lead on the scoreboard.
The Men’s doubles match saw Awadhe Warriors stamp another victory to their name winning the tie 4-1 today.
Post the win the Mixed Doubles pair said “The match was an absolute thriller and we are happy to win this one. Our opponents came back strongly in the second set and we were trailing in the third set, but we fought brilliantly in the last and opened our account”.
Commenting on the win Sameer said “I am pleased after this victory as our team has now 2 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. I am sure we will take the tie in our name today as I am confident of our trump game as hopefully Srikanth will win it. ”
A proud S Tanongsak said “I knew the importance of this match as we lost the opening 2 matches. It was a Trump match for Top Guns but I got better of the pressure and managed to beat one of the best players of 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. ”
An elated Saina stated “Sou gave me a tough fight and did not allow me to win easy points. Our last match allowed us to bounce back in the Tie and this win stamps our victory in the Tie. From here I am hoping we win the last match and add one more point to our points tally”
Post the win, Bodin and Cai said “What a turn around to the Tie. We still can’t believe that we won the Tie. We are very happy and look forward to the upcoming challenge”.
The match tally was as follows:
Awadhe Warriors vs Bengaluru Top Guns: 4-1 (points)
|Ashwini Ponnappa/Kim Wah Lim (BT) beatBodin Issara/K Maneesha (AW)||15-13, 11-15, 15-13|
|Sameer Verma (BT) beat Sai Praneeth (AW)||15-13, 15-14|
|Tanongsak S (AW) beat K Srikanth (BT)||15-11, 15-10|
|Saina Nehwal (AW) beat Suo Di (BT)||15-10, 13-15,15-8|
|Bodin Issara/Cai Yun (AW) beat Hoon Thien How / Khim Wah Lim (BT)||15-12 15-06|
Schedule for 7th January 2016 Star Sports PBL:
Delhi Acers vs Hyderabad Hunters: 6.30pm (Delhi)