Premier Badminton League (PBL) season four's 23rd tie saw Awadhe Warriors take on Chennai Smashers at Kanteerava Indoor Stadium, Bengaluru. There was humongous pressure on 8th-ranked Chennai to steal a win against the number four ranked Warriors. Eventually, the scoreline went in favour of Warriors: 4-3.
The fixtures of the tie were as follows
The clash commenced with men's doubles faceoff between Warriors' Yang Lee-Mathias Christiansen (their trump match) and Smashers' Gabrielle Adcock-Sumeeth Reddy. Warriors' pair made the most of a rusty opposition and triumphed to take a 2-0 lead. The scoreline remained 15-8, 15-6.
Next in line were Lee Dong Keun and Wei Feng Chong. The pressure was on Chong as another defeat could have easily hampered Smashers' chances going forward. While Dong Keun took the first game with ease, there was competition in the following game with Chong giving his all. However, Dong Keun negated the threat to win the second game as well (15-13).
The third match was between Beiwen Zhang against Smashers' Sung Ji Hyun. This was the trump match for Chennai. Had they lost this clash, their points would have been in the negative.
Hyun, however, soaked in the pressure and defeated Zhang 15-13, 15-8. Zhang had her moments, especially in the first game but fell behind once she conceded the lead.
In the mixed doubles, Christiansen and Ashwini Ponnappa were pitted against Chris-Gabrielle Adcock. Trailing 2-3, the Adcock pair had to keep Smashers' alive ahead of the final match. They succeded and emerged victorious courtesy the following scoreline: 15-13, 9-15, 15-14. The Adcocks were under some pressure after an ordinary penultimate game. In the decider, the contest intensified as there wasn't much to seperate between Adcocks and Christiansen-Ponnappa.
Adcocks, however, prevailed by keeping their nerves and overcoming few vital errors from the rivals.
The last match of the tie was the (second) men's singles encounter wherein Warriors' Son Wan Ho took on England's Rajiv Ouseph. It was all to play for with the overall scoreline interestingly poised at 3-3.
Nonetheless, the last encounter proved out to be a one-sided affair. Ouseph was too loose in his approach and never got going. As a result, Son Wan and his side, Warriors, walked away with the contest (15-6, 15-6) and eventually won the tie.
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