PBL: Chennai Smashers beat Mumbai Rockets to record first win – Times of India

NEW DELHI: The mixed doubles pair of Chris Adcock and Gabrielle Adcock won Chennai Smashers‘ Trump match to help their team overcome Mumbai Rockets 4-3 in their second match of the Premier Badminton League season 3 at the Siri Fort Sports Complex in Delhi on Wednesday.

The first match of the Delhi leg of PBL between Chennai Smashers and Mumbai Rockets proved to be a cracker of a contest as the result was decided in the last game of the last match.

Trailing 2-3, the husband-wife pair of Chris and Gabrielle came out all guns blazing to win the first game and won it 15-9 against MR Arjun and Gabriela Stoeva in the mixed doubles match. The match went to the wire after Mumbai duo Arjun and Stoeva forced it into the decider by taking the second game 13-15. Chris and Gabrielle overcame the hiccups they suffered in the second game as they got the better of Arjun and Stoeva 15-9, 13-15, 15-9.

The first contest of the night turned out to be a lop-sided affair with the Mumbai pair of Lee Yong Dae and Tan Boon Heong outclassing Chennai duo Lee Yang and B Sumeeth Reddy in straight games 15-9, 15-6 in the men’s doubles to give their team a 1-0 lead.

Mumbai Rockets pair opened the first game with two early points but their two unforced errors handed it back in favour of Chennai. Yang and Reddy failed to contained it though as Mumbai headed into the break with a 8-6 lead. Mumbai then continued where they have left by extending it to 10-7 and went on to win it 15-9 in quick time.

The turnaround was anticipated from the Chennai players and they got two points lead after Mumbai duo made unforced errors but it was a one-way traffic after that as Mumbai took the complete control of the proceedings. Lee and Tan exhibited their best and produced a flurry of smashes to jump to 12-4 lead before wrapping it up 15-6.

The onus then was on World No 24 Brice Leverdez of France to open Chennai’s account in the match and he did it but had to endure a gruelling battle before recording a 15-14, 10-15, 15-14 victory over Sameer Verma in a pulsating men’s singles encounter.

The Indian started the proceedings on a high note but soon lost the plot. An accurate forehand smash helped him level at 9-9. But the Frenchman stayed on top of his game to clinch the all-decisive point as they walked together till 14-14.

Sameer changed gear in the second game taking a 4-1 lead but failed to consolidate as his smashes went wide before heading into the break at 8-7. Leverdez’s unforced errors gave him a 12-9 lead. Sameer unleashed a cross court smash to make it 14-10 and eventually won it 15-10 to draw level.

Sameer carried on his good work as he raced to a 4-1 lead early in the decider but soon it became neck and neck contest after Leverdez’s great commitment saw him taking a 8-6 lead at the mid break. Both players were winning points after the break and it was Leverdez who stood out with a 15-14 victory over the Indian opponent.

In the third contest, Chennai’s marquee player PV Sindhu survived a scare in the women’s singles before emerging victorious against World No 11 Beiwen Zhang of USA and gave her team a 2-1 lead.

Sindhu was not looking in her elements with the score reading 5-5 in the first game and an unforced error saw her trailing 6-8 at the mid-game break. She kept on struggling after the interval as Zhang bettered her lead to 12-8. Sindhu failed to put up any fight before going down 12-15.

Sindhu got her act back in the second game, moving to 6-3 – a lead she got just for the second time in the tie – and went into the break with a comfortable 8-4 lead. The World No 3 made the most of Zhang’s errors and frustrated her opponent with her returns before clinching the second game 15-7.

Zhang made Sindhu move all over the court in the third game and led 7-4. But Sindhu showed her class and won four straight points to go into the break with an 8-7 lead. Sindhu continued to have the upper hand over Zhang as she won the decider 15-9.

Trailing 1-2 in the match, World No 5 Son Wan Ho of Korea led Mumbai’s fightback by fetching an extra point as he registered a comfortable victory over Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk of Thailand 15-11, 15-5 in the Trump match.

Son stamped his authority early in the first game, leading 8-2 at the break. Thailand’s Saensomboonsuk staged a spirited comeback to make it 11-11 but Son held his nerves to win the first game 15-11. Son began the second game in the same manner and raced to a 8-3 lead at the break and tamed his opponent 15-5 to hand Mumbai a 3-2 lead.

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