Hyderabad Hunters rode on Carolina Marin's trump match victory to beat debutant North Eastern Warriors 5-2 in the Premier Badminton League (PBL) at the N.C. Bordoloi Indoor Stadium here on Sunday.
AS IT HAPPENED
Hyderabad went 1-0 up after winning the thrilling men's doubles match. Markis Kido and Yoo Yeon Seong held their nerve to pip Kim Gi Jung and Shin Baek Cheol 15-10, 13-15, 15-14.
The Indonesian-Korean pair raised its game at the right time to claim the first game, which witnessed some fast exchanges.
However, North East's Korean duo came good amidst some impressive rallies in the second. The host conceded five consecutive points at 13-7, but got its act together to draw parity.
In the neck-and-neck third game, Kido's jump smash sealed the issue in Hyderabad's favour.
The 38th ranked Ajay Jayaram frittered away an early advantage, an 8-1 lead in the opening game, to lose to World No. 18 Lee Hyun Il 15-13, 11-15, 15-6.
Ajay, who dazzled with his court craft and excellent drop shots, managed to equalise before melting under pressure. He committed a lot of unforced errors to help southpaw Lee, who stepped his game and brought out some superb drop shots and record Hyderabad's second win.
Warriors posts facile 4-3 win over Smashers
Returning from an injury, Carolina defeated Michelle Lee 15-9, 15-11 to deny North East any chance of a comeback.
The Spaniard displayed her fine low shots as took the first game easily.
Michelle gained in confidence to surprise Carolina with a few powerful strokes and grab an 8-5 lead in the next. Carolina rose to the occasion by mixing her shots and erase the deficit. An under-pressure Michelle's mistakes at net made matters worse for her.
The results: Hyderabad Hunters bt North Eastern Warriors 5-2 (Markis Kido-Yoo Yeon Seong bt Kim Gi Jung-Shin Baek Cheol 15-10, 13-15, 15-14; Lee Hyun Il bt Ajay Jayaram 15-13, 11-15, 15-6; (Hyderabad's trump match) Carolina Marin bt Michelle Li 15-9, 15-11; (North East's trump match) B. Sai Praneeth lost to Tzu Wei Wang 15-11, 6-15, 6-15; Satwiksairaj Rankireddy-Pia Zebadiah bt Shin Baek Cheol-Prajakta Sawant 15-8, 15-11)
Tomorrow at Guwahati: Delhi Dashers vs Mumbai Rockets at 7 p.m.
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