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PBL 2020: Sindhu masterclass gives Hyderabad Hunters first win

PV Sindhu

Bengaluru, January 26: With her array of smashes, world champion PV Sindhu guided Hyderabad Hunters to their first win as they beat Awadhe Warriors in the Premier Badminton League 2020 at the Babu Banarasi Das Badminton Academy in Lucknow.

In a flawless display by the former champions, Sourabh Verma and the mixed doubles pair of Sikki Reddy and Vladimir Ivanov performed brilliantly to fetch wins for the Hunters.

The badminton-loving crowd at Lucknow was treated to a Republic Day special masterclass by the Hyderabad ace as the Rio Olympic silver medallist blew away Awadhe's Tanvi Lad 15-8, 15-8.

In control

In control

Sindhu looked totally in control right from the start as she sailed away to 8-1. By luring Sindhu to the net, the Warriors shuttler made an effort to prevent the world No. 6 from raining down her smashes in the second game.

She closed to within three points of her highly accomplished rival at 6-9 but Sindhu soon widened the gap between them to finish the match effortlessly.

Good atmosphere

Good atmosphere

"I am feeling really happy. The crowd was really supportive despite me playing against the home team, Awadhe Warriors," said Sindhu after her win.

"I really enjoyed the atmosphere," the world champion added.

Test of nerves

Test of nerves

Earlier, Sourabh Verma rekindled his love affair with Lucknow as he bagged a hard-fought win for Hyderabad Hunters against Awadhe's Subhankar Dey. Verma, who reached the final of the Syed Modi International at the same venue just two months ago, rebounded after losing the first game to record a gritty 14-15, 15-12, 15-10 win.

The first game was a test of nerves and stamina which Dey passed with flying colours as he edged Verma to bag the opener. Undeterred by the score, Verma brought about a change of tactics to rob Dey of his pace. By constantly slowing down the shuttle, the Hunters ace levelled the second game at 12-12 before pocketing it.

Stunning victory

Stunning victory

Buoyed by the comeback, the three-time national champion Verma raced through the decider to set up an 11-7 lead and maintained it to complete the stunning victory.

The mixed doubles match witnessed an upset of Trump as Hyderabad's Reddy and Ivanov pulled off a 15-12, 15-14 win over Awadhe's Shin Baek Cheol and Christinna Pedersen.

(Source: PBL Media)

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Story first published: Sunday, January 26, 2020, 23:16 [IST]
Other articles published on Jan 26, 2020
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