Prannoy ensures Ahmedabad stay in semifinal hunt
Chennai, Jan 9 (PTI) HS Prannoy kept Ahmedabad Smash Masters' semifinal hopes alive in the third Premier Badminton League with an impressive display against the Mumbai Rockets here today.
The World No. 10 won his men's singles by upsetting World No. 5 Son Wan Ho 15-12, 15-12 in straight games to help Ahmedabad gain an early 3-0 advantage over Mumbai at the Jawaharlal Nehru Indoor Stadium.
After losing the first game, the Korean fought back in the second by taking a 12-9 advantage, but Prannoy stood upto the challenge and ended up fetching a crucial point for his team.
Prannoy had made his intentions clear earlier in the day, tweeting: "1% chance, 99% faith that's how we go tonight for our last league match!! Do or die for a spot in the semis of PBL Season 3."
The 25-year-old backed his words on court by defeating a higher ranked player.
World No. 1 Tai Tzu Ying then extended Ahmedabad's domination by defeating Beiwan Zhang 15-9, 15-12.
Tai Tzu wrapped up the first game pretty quickly but in the second Zhang stretched her to level the scores at 6-6. The 23-year-old Tzu did not allow her opponent any leeway by collecting six points in a row only to find the doughty Zhang reduce the margin at 12-14. Tzu ensured the scoreline did not change much by grabbing the match point and win 15-12.
Earlier, Ahmedabad's mixed doubles pair of Law Cheuk Him and Kamilla Rytter Juhl began the proceedings in right earnest by defeating the Mumbai duo of Lee Yong Dae/Gabriela Stoeva 15-11, 15-7.
The most interesting battle was lined up later in the evening between the Verma brothers, Sameer and Sourabh, with teams nominating this men's singles duel as the Trump match.
Before their final league match against Mumbai, PBL debutants Ahmedabad were placed third with 12 points.
Two-time finalists Mumbai, on the other hand, were at the bottom of the table with 10 points. With three points in their kitty, Ahmedabad have 15 points, the same as leaders Bengaluru Blasters.
If they collect any more points from the remaining matches, then their status as sole leaders is guaranteed