Warriors open PBL-3 campaign with 4-3 win vs Smashers

File Photo : Awadhe Warriors
IANS|24-Dec-2017 13:14

Guwahati, Dec 23 : Awadhe Warriors put behind the absence of injured Saina Nehwal to kickstart their campaign in the third edition of the Rs 6 crore Premier Badminton League (PBL) with a 4-3 win over Chennai Smashers at the Karmabir Nabin Chandra Bordoloi Indoor Stadium here on Saturday.

Awadhe ran away with an unassailable 3-0 (4-0 on points) lead quite early by winning both their men's singles and mixed doubles before the Smashers managed to pull back the deficit to 4-3, after pocketing the men's doubles and women's singles ties.

World No.3 P.V. Sindhu consolidated Smashers by bagging two points in her trump match against rookie Sai Uttejitha Rao 15-10, 15-9 after Chris Adcock and Lee Yang beat Hendra Setiawan and Or Chin Chung 15-11, 10-15, 15-11 in the men's doubles encounter.

Earlier, World No.3 Kidambi Srikanth downed Frenchman Brice Leverdez 15-12, 15-14 in straight games to build upon the successes of Parupalli Kashyap and the mixed doubles pair of Christinna Pedersen and Tang Chun Man earllier.

The resilient Frenchman stretched Srikanth in both the games but the Indian closed out the second via sudden death after they were tied 14-all.

Kashyap won his singles against Daniel S. Farid 15-12, 15-8 to give them an additional advantage as Awadhe had ticked this encounter as their Trump Match. The victory gave them two points as against the usual one point for a win.

Kashyap dominated the encounter and sealed the contest in straight games, which helped Awadhe swell their points tally to three.

Earlier, Christinna and Tang provided a superb start to their campaign by shocking fancied English couple Chris and Gabrielle Adcock 10-15, 15-5, 15-12. 

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World No.9 Adcocks started off well by pocketing the first game but the Danish girl Christinna and Hong Kong's Tang fought back brilliantly to turn the tables on the English pair.

Their successes were roundly cheered by Saina from the bench after she was ruled out with an ankle niggle from the high-voltage meeting against Sindhu.

Awadhe coach Anup Sridhar, however, was hopeful Saina will turn out at the Siri Fort Sports Complex in New Delhi for their second match against North East Warriors on December 30. 

Earlier, Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal inaugurated the third edition of the PBL, which expanded to an eight-team league this year with the addition of the North Eastern Warriors and Ahmedabad Smash Masters.

"Proudly inaugurated @PBLIndiaLive in Guwahati and interacted with the galaxy of shuttlers. Another mega sporting extravaganza that will go a long way in further popularising the game and consolidating Guwahati's position as a major sports hub," Sonowal tweeted.

A colourful opening ceremony earlier featuring Assamese folk dancers, local sensation and Bollywood singer Zubeen Garg and the famous Shillong Choir, provided a rousing start to the third edition of the Premier Badminton League.