Sindhu, Chris-Gabriella guide Chennai to a 4-3 win over Mumbai
(Eds: Updating with more results)
By Amit Kumar Das
New Delhi, Dec 27 (PTI) Olympic silver medallist P V Sindhu notched up a thrilling three-game win in the womens singles as defending champions Chennai Smashers eked out a 4-3 win over Mumbai Rockets in the third Premier Badminton League (PBL) here today.
World Championship silver medallist Sindhu entertained the handful of badminton aficionados at the Siri Fort sports complex with a come from behind 12-15 15-7 15-9 win over Mumbai Rocket's Beiwen Zhang in an exciting womens singles match.
World No 5 Son then starred in Mumbai's Trump match and scripted a 15-11 15-5 win over Thailand's Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk in the second men's singles match to make it 3-2 in favour of his team.
However, husband-wife combo of Chris and Gabriella Adcock, who had won a bronze at Glasgow World Championship, staved off a spirited challenge from Mumbais Gabriela Stoeva and M R Arjun 15-9 13-15 15-9 in a mixed doubles contest which was Chennais Trump match to help their team notch up their maiden win in the season.
Chennai had lost their opening match 3-4 to Awadhe Warriors at Guwahati, while Mumbai had won 4-1 against Delhi Dashers in their opening match.
Earlier, Lee Yong Dae and Tan Boon Heong started the proceedings and gave Mumbai Rockets a great start, defeating B Sumeeth Reddy and Lee Yang 15-9 15-6 in a lop-sided men's doubles opening match.
In the first men's singles, Sameer Verma, who is coming back after recovering from a shoulder injury, suffered a heartbreaking 14-15 15-10 14-15 loss against France's Brice Leverdez in a thrilling three-game match as Chennai roared back in the contest, making it 1-1.
Sameer, who had reached the finals at Hong Kong Open last year and clinched the Syed Modi Grand Prix Gold early in the year, saved two match points to make it 14-14 before an opportunist Brice produced a tap at the net to rob the Indian off a win.
"I should have won the first game but I couldn't. I am coming back from a shoulder injury and now I am completely fit. I would look to stay fit this season," Sameer said after the loss.
In women's singles, Sindhu took little time to get off the mark as Beiwen looked in better control and led 8-6 at one stage before closing out the opening game.
Cheered on by the fans here, the Indian stamped her authority in the second, rushing to a 11-4 lead. Sindhu dished out some spectacular smashes and roared back into contest when Beiwen found the next twice.
The decider started on an aggressive note with the duo engaging in some fierce rallies. Beiwen managed to eke out a 7-5 lead before Sindhu entered the break after her rival committed errors at the net.
Sindhu zoomed ahead to 14-8 with her rival committing too many unforced errors. Once the shuttle went wide again, it was all over for Beiwen.
"I was making too many unforced errors in the first game and by the time I could make a comeback she finished the game, in the second game though it was equal till 4-4, but I was confident of a comeback. In the third game she went into the lead but I was not nervous and after the change of sides I finished comfortably. It was not an easy match," Sindhu said after the match