Mumbai, December 23: Satwiksairaj Rankireddy justified his tag as the highest paid Indian non-icon player in the fourth season of the Vodafone Premier Badminton League (PBL) as he along with Lee Chun Hei Reginald upset North Eastern Warriors game plan by upsetting their trump in the first match of the tie.
Satwik, who was bought by Ahmedabad Smash Masters for Rs 52 lakh, and Lee struggled to find rhythm at the start as the experienced combination of Liao Min Chun and Yoo Yeon Seong controlled the proceedings.
But Satwik and partners came back strong in the second, taking a 8-4, 13-9 lead before Seong and Liao took five straight points to earn a match point. But Liao made an error on the net to take the game into 'decisive point' and then made a judgement of errors on the sideline to allow the match to go into the decider.
In the ensuing decider, Satwik turned on the heat with his booming smashes to take the game rather easily and register a 10-15, 15-14, 15-14 as Ahmedabad Smash Masters opened up a 1-(-1) lead.
Former world champion Viktor Axelsen then gave the Ahmedabad team an unassailable lead of 3-(-1) when he defeated Tanongsak Sansomboonsuk 15-11, 15-14 in which he was the trump.
Ahmedabad Smash Masters vs North Eastern Warriors
MD: Lee Chun Hei Reginald / Satwiksairaj Rankireddy bt Liao Min Chun/Yoo Yeon Seong (T): 10-15, 15-14, 15-14
MS: Viktor Axelsen (T) bt Tanongsak Sansomboonsuk- 15-11, 15-14
WS: Rituparna Das bt Kirsty Gilmour 15-8, 15-9
MS: Tian Houwei bt Daren Liew
XD: Kim Ha Na/Yoo Yeon Seong vs Sikki Reddy/Satwiksairaj Rankireddy