Rockets win but Warriors top table

Saina Nehwal who stole the day’s honours. The Warrior player played an outstanding game to quell the challenge of Sung Ji Hyun 12-10, 4-11, 11-5 to narrow it down to 1-2.

By Author   |   Published: 7th Jan 2017   10:31 am
Warriors
Ajay Jayaram

Lucknow: Mumbai Rockets defeated Awadhe Warriors 4-3 but the Lucknow team top the table in the Premier Badminton League Season 2 at the Babu Banarasi Das Indoor Stadium on Friday. But Warriors top the table with 14 points while Rockets are in second spot with 12 points
Ajay Jayaram of Mumbai Rockets made a great comeback to beat his compatriot Kidambi Srikanth of Awadhe Warriors 5-11, 15-14, 11-5 to help his team take a 2-0 lead in the tie. The win not only was Srikanth’s first loss in the league but was his first loss against Ajay as well.

But it was Saina Nehwal who stole the day’s honours. The Warrior player played an outstanding game to quell the challenge of Sung Ji Hyun 12-10, 4-11, 11-5 to narrow it down to 1-2.

HS Prannoy survived a close match before beating Vincent Wong Wing Ki 12-14, 11-9, 8-11 in the trump match to give Rockets 4-1 lead.

However in the final match, D Savitree Amitrapai /Bodin Isara outclassed , Nipithphon Phuangphuapet/Nadiezda Zieba 11-8, 11-4 to fetch two points as it was trump match for the home side.

Starting the match, Srikanth was quick to get off the blocks and raced to a lead of 5-2. It looked like Srikanth will have it easy but Ajay fought back to take three consecutive points to tie the score 5-5. Srikanth then took one more point to go into the mid-game break with a 6-5. After the break, Srikanth started from where he left and dominated the proceedings. His movement on the court was superb and the way he mixed his shots was immaculate and the Mumbai player ran out of answers. Leading the game, Srikanth did not let his opponent get back and took five straight points to take the opening game.

In the second game, the Awadhe Warriors players started brilliantly again to seize the initial momentum and opened up a 5-1 lead only from Ajay to make a wonderful comeback and take four consecutive points to tie the score 5-5. However, Srikanth took the next point to go into the breather with the lead. With victory in sight, it should have been an easy walk for the Warriors player but Ajay denied going down so easily and gave a tough fight and to snatch a superb 15-14 win in the second game.

The third game saw Ajay in the driving seat for the first time as he paced to a 6-3 in the decider. nFacing down the barrel, Srikanth tried to launch a comeback but Ajay was in no mood to relent as won the game 11-5.

“It was an awesome and I am happy to have helped my team get the early lead. The momentum was against me and I am glad that I hung and finally win the match against him,” Ajay said after the match.

The tie started with men’s doubles action, with Lee Yong Dae and Nipitphon Puangpuapech of Rockets taking on in-form pair of Markis Kido and V Shem Goh of Warriors. The Rockets pair started the match in a rather confident manner taking the opening game 11-7. Kido and Shem Goh won the next game 11-3 to force the match into the decider. It was close final game with Rockets finally winning 13-11 to halt Warriors winning streak and take 1-0 lead into the match.