PBL 2018: 4 standout performances from the Hyderabad Leg
Premier Badminton League (PBL) Season 4 is just a week old but has definitely not disappointed fans with the riveting matches and the interesting encounters.
Defending champions Hyderabad Hunters opened their home leg by smashing Chennai Smashers 5-0, but couldn't replicate the performance against the Awadhe Warriors as they were outdone by their opposition 1-4.
Ahmedabad Smash Masters continued the good start to their season and added a couple of wins in the Hyderabad leg of the competition. In their first match, they beat Delhi Dashers convincingly, and then went on to add to their wins by defeating the Bengaluru Raptors 4-3 in a thrilling contest.
Tables were turned in the Gachibowli Indoor Stadium as North Eastern Warriors got their first win of the tournament as they defeated Mumbai Rockets.
Let's look at the 4 best performances from the Hyderabad Leg.
#4 Kim Sa Rang
Kim Sa Rang was bought for a massive ₹45 Lacs and he showed why the Hyderabad contingent decided to buy him for such a massive price.
In Hyderabad Hunters' first match against Chennai Smashers, Kim and Bodin Issara were to face the pair of B.Sumeeth Reddy and O.C.Chung. The Hyderabad team decided to make this their trump card match. Kim and Boddin lost the first game 13-15 but fought back and won the second game 15-12. The Hyderabad pair wrapped up the third game 15-10 and got two points for their side.
Kim was in action again later that night as he and Eom Hye Won paired in mixed doubles to play against the in-form Gabby Adcock and Chris Adcock. The English pair won the first game 15-14 but lost the second game 13-15. Kim and Won settled the third game in their favor at 15-14 which helped the Hunters beat the Smashers 5-0.
#3 Beiwen Zhang
World No.10 Beiwen Zhang had to face the BWF World Tour Finals champion PV Sindhu in the match between Awadhe Warriors and Hyderabad Hunters.
Sindhu, who beat Carolina Marin on the opening day of the competition, lost to Sung Ji Hyun three days later and was in for another defeat at the hands of Zhang on Friday.
Sindhu started well and took a 6-3 lead which was reduced to 12-12 and then the American stole the game as she won 15-13. Then, the 2018 Indian Open winner outdid her opponent and won the second game 15-8 courtesy of a lot of errors from the World No.3.
Awadhe Warriors ended up with a 4-1 victory over the Hyderabad Hunters maintaining their good start to season 4.
#2 Kirsty Gilmour
Kirsty Gilmour didn't have the best of starts in PBL Season 4 as she opened her account for the season with a loss to Rituparna Das, ranked 32 places below the Scottish ace.
In Ahmedabad Smash Masters' first match of the leg against Delhi Dashers, Gilmour had to face Evgeniya Kosetskaya, who also had a disappointing first leg as she lost to World No. 201 Shreyanshi Pardeshi.
The Ahmedabad player fell to the Russian in the first game 12-15 but reversed the scoreline in the second game as she won 15-12. In the third game, the 25-year old dominated Kosetskaya and won 15-7 wrapping up the match helping her side win the tie.
In Ahmedabad's match against Bangalore, Gilmour had to face Vu Thi Trang. The women's singles match was the last match of the night with the tie equal at 3-3. The CWG bronze medalist made light work of her opponent as she won the game 15-8, 15-13.
#1 Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and N Sikki Reddy
Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and N Sikki Reddy paired up to beat Jongjit Maneepong and Lee Chia Hsin quite comfortably in two games. The pair who train at the Gopichand academy made it a one-sided affair as they won the first game 15-11 and followed it up with a 15-10 win in the second game helping Ahmedabad Smash Masters to defeat Delhi Dashers.
Expectations were high for the young Indian pair in Ahmedabad's next match against Bengaluru Raptors as the Smash Masters decided to use the trump card on their match against CWG silver medal winners Lauren Smith and Marcus Ellis.
Satvik's brilliant smashes and Sikki's clever net game helped the Indian pair get over the line as they won 13-15, 15-11, 15-14.