In Premier Badminton League (PBL) season four's 19th tie, Mumbai Rockets and Chennai Smashers locked horns at The Arena by SE TransStadia, Ahemdabad. Both sides were coming on the back of comprehensive victories in the last tie, but Mumbai prevailed in this encounter with a overall scoreline: 5-0.
The fixtures were as follows
Mumbai's Anders Antonsen clashed with Chennai's Rajiv Duseph in the men's singles, which was the opening match. The early honours went in favour of Mumbai with Antonsen emerging on top in straight games (15-14, 15-11). Rajiv had his chances but it was he who was on the trail since the onset and paid the price eventually.
The second match of the tie saw Kim Gi Jung and Pia Zebadiah Bernadeth come up against England's Chris and Gabrielle Adcock in the mixed doubles. It was a crucial match for Chennai after being 0-1 down. In addition, it was adjudged as their trump match. Nonetheless, the script remained the same: Chennai players failed to win the big moments and lost 15-14, 15-14.
Heading into the third match of the tie, Mumbai were 2-(-1). Sung Ji Hyun had a big responsibility to stage a comeback for Chennai. She was up against Anura Prabhudesai in the sole women's singles. As expected, the world number nine Hyun was at her very best and Anura was no match. Hyun finished the match in quick span with a straight game victory: 15-7, 15-8. The scoreline, till then, remained in Mumbai's favour but Chennai had washed away the negative point.
The fourth match of the tie was the most awaited one of the entire tie. It was Mumbai's Sameer Verma up against 57th ranked Parupalli Kashyap. This was Mumbai's trump match.
Kashyap started the match with the lead in the first game. It was a closely-knit affair before Kashyap prevailed in the opening game. Sameer came from behind and battled hard, with long rallies, to level the contest. It all boiled down to the decider.
Kashyap enjoyed a slender lead. Sameer was again closing the gap and managed a lead at midway. At the one-minute break, Sameer led 8-4. The entire Chennai unit's pressure seemed to have come pushed Kashyap to the wall. Sameer was 10-5 ahead. While he covered the court significantly, he was very good with his smashes. Kashyap came to the net but missed some opportunities to close few rallies with his awry drops. Eventually, he lost 10-15.
The last match of the tie was the men's doubles wherein Mumbai's Jung and skipper Lee Yong Dae had to see off the pair of Or Chun Chung- Sumeeth Reddy. The match, however, was an inconsequiental one courtesy Mumbai's unassassible 4-0 lead.This encounter also went in Mumbai's favour with Jung-Lee's dominance (15-8, 15-10).
About the Author
Aditya Sahay, a former cricket reporter/writer and statistician, has shifted gears to other sports (primarily badminton, tennis, kabaddi, hockey, golf etc). While cricket remains his first love, he enjoys covering and writing on kabaddi, hockey and tennis. He dons Germanys jersey during FIFA and believes Dhoni Dhoni hai, isko (aur) mauka mila toh bahut aage jayega