Hyderabad – Awadhe Warriors won 3-2 against the Pune Pistons as both teams booked their semifinal berths at the inaugural Indian Badminton League (IBL) here Monday.
The Lucknow-based team bagged four points with the win and top the standings with 16 points. The Pistons too are on 16 but have lost more games in the tournament.
In the opening men’s singles rubber, Warriors’ K. Srikanth gave his team a 1-0 lead as he beat Saurabh Verma 21-18, 21-16. Post his win Srikanth said, “I had a very good start and I think this was my kind of style. Shuttle speed was much better than in Bangalore which helped me to win.”
In the women’s singles category, P.V. Sindhu won the match in straight games against Pune Pistons’ Juliane Schenk. The Warriors took a 2-0 lead as their icon player won 21-20, 21-20.
“I have played against Schenk twice but this is the first time I won and I am feeling really happy. I am also thrilled and touched to see my college friends and teachers who have come here to support me,” said the 18-year-old 2013 World Championship bronze medallist.
Mathias Boe and Markis Kido of the Warriors won their men’s doubles rubber against Arun Vishnu and Sanave Thomas 21-15, 21-16 to seal the tie 3-0.
“It was another day at office. I and Kido were leading by four or five points throughout the match today and had complete control on our game,” Boe said.
The Pistons came back well and won the second men’s singles and mixed doubles rubbers and qualified for the semifinals along with their opponents.
Pistons’ Tien Minh Nyugen won the second men’s singles rubber 21-12, 21-18 against R.M.V. Gurusaidutt. “I am very happy that my team qualified for semifinals after I won the match. One side of the court was slow and the other one was very fast. I tried keeping the shuttle down all the time so that I could win as many points as possible,” said Nyugen.
In the final mixed doubles match Pistons’ icon player Ashwini Ponnappa with partner Joachim Fischer Nielsen beat brother-sister pairing Markis Kido and Pia Bernadeth 21-16, 21-14.
Post their win Ashwini said: “Fischer is a very experienced player and keeps correcting my mistakes. I am glad that my team worked hard together to qualify for the semis. As far as my game is concerned, I couldn’t have played better than this.”
Results: K. Srikanth (Warriors) beat Saurabh Verma (Pistons) 21-18, 21-16; P.V. Sindhu (Warriors) beat Juliane Schenk (Pistons) 21-20, 21-20; Mathias Boe/Markis Kido (Warriors) beat Arun Vishnu/Sanave Thomas (Pistons) 21-15, 21-16; Tien Minh Nyugen (Pistons) beat R.M.V. Gurusaidutt (Warriors) 21-12, 21-18; Joachim Fischer Nielsen/Ashwini Ponnappa (Pistons) beat Markis Kido/Pia Bernadeth (Warriors) 21-16, 21-14.