PBL: Dashers gets the better of Hunters


P.V. Sindhu’s electric display was the bright spot in Hyderabad Hunters’ otherwise lacklustre performance against Delhi Dashers in the Premier Badminton League (PBL) here on Wednesday.
Delhi won 4-3, but the outcome of the tie made little difference to the semifinal qualification prospects of both teams. Hunters (24 points) have already sealed a last-four berth, while Dashers (6) have no chance of making the cut.
The Sree Kanteerava Indoor Stadium crowd was thrilled to watch Sindhu, who posted a comfortable 15-11, 15-9 win over Evgeniya Kosetskaya. The Russian attempted to draw Sindhu forward with drop shots, but the latter’s fine court coverage nullified the efforts. Sindhu, the World No. 3, was clinical with her smashes as well. Evgeniya held her own, stretching points, but committed far too many unforced errors. Sindhu’s victory in the trump match helped Hyderabad cut the lead to 3-2, but Dashers’ Tommy Sugiarto then sealed the fate of the contest with a 15-6, 15-11 victory over Mark Caljouw. The inconsequential mixed doubles rubber went Hyderabad’s way, with Rang Kim and Eom Won cruising past Hsin Lee and S. Wang 15-7, 15-12. Kim entertained the spectators with a dazzling array of shots, the best being a searing overhead backhand smash. Earlier, Delhi’s H.S. Prannoy edged out Rahul Yadav 15-10, 9-15, 15-12 in the first men’s singles. In the second tie, Awadhe Warriors powered past North Eastern Warriors (25 points) 5-0 and moved to first on the points table. North Eastern’s star player Saina Nehwal failed to impress in her trump match, going down to B. Zhang 11-15, 15-11, 15-7.


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