Chennai Smashers edge Mumbai Rockets

December 28, 2017, Delhi

BadmintonSindhu geared up


It was champion class as P.V. Sindhu overcame moments of uncertainty and a determined Beiwen Zhang to clinch a crucial point for Chennai Smashers in the Vodafone Premier Badminton League (PBL) at the Siri Fort Sports Complex here on Wednesday evening.

Having lost the first match in Guwahati, rather closely at 3-4 to Awadhe Warriors, it was important for Chennai to pick up points and that was what precisely the team did after stumbling to an indifferent start with the doubles.

It was sheer grit and determination that saw Chennai turn the tide by winning two singles matches. If it was an intense drama when Brice Leverdez downed Sameer Verma in a thriller 15-14, 10-15, 15-14, Sindhu was superb as she goaded herself to a 12-15, 15-7, 15-9 victory over Zhang.

Mumbai bounced back in style with Son Wan Ho claiming two points for his team as the trump, in the fourth encounter against Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk.

However, in the climax — the mixed doubles match which went to the wire — the Adcocks, Chris and Gabrielle, thumped Gabriela Stoeva and M.R. Arjun as the trump, 15-9 in the decider to gain a 4-3 victory for the Chennai outfit.

It was a setback for Mumbai after its opening victory, but the team did put up a very good performance.

Full credit to Sindhu for sustaining the team’s hopes. It was her last match of a very successful season when she had made it to the final of the World Championship and the year-end Super Series Final in Dubai.

With the crowd coming alive, chanting her name when she looked a jaded in patches, Sindhu really stepped it up with an all-round game. Her next match will be on January 3 in Lucknow.

Down 1-3 and 4-7 in the decider, Sindhu was calm and played her best even as Zhang wilted under the pressure, unable to control the flow of points, and eventually putting one wide on matchpoint.

The results: Chennai Smashers bt Mumbai Rockets 4-3 (Lee Yang & Sumeeth Reddy lost to Lee Yog Bae & Tan Boom Heong 9-15, 6-15; Brice Leverdez bt Sameer Verma 15-14, 10-15, 15-14; P.V. Sindhu bt Beiwen Zhang 12-15, 15-7, 15-9; Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk lost to (T) Son Wan Ho 11-15, 5-15; (T) Chris Adcock & Gabrielle Adcock bt Gabriela Stoeva & M.R. Arjun 15-9, 13-15, 15-9).

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