PBL 2018-19: Awadhe Warriors stuns Hyderabad Hunters; Beiwen Zhang ousts P. V. Sindhu

Awadhe Warriors' Beiwen Zhang claimed an easy win over Hyderabad Hunters' P. V. Sindhu as the former cruised to a 4-1 win in the Premier Badminton League on Friday.

Awadhe Warriors' Beiwen Zhang in action against Hyderabad Hunters' P. V. Sindhu in the PBL on Friday.   -  G. Ramakrishna

Awadhe Warriors stunned defending champion Hyderabad Hunters 4-1 in the Hyderabad-leg of the Premier Badminton League (PBL) at the Gachibowli Indoor Stadium here on Friday night. This is Hunters' first defeat in this edition having won its first two clashes.

Olympic silver medallist P.V. Sindhu suffered her second straight loss at home when she went down to Zhang Beiwen 13-15, 8-15 much to the dismay of Hyderabad Hunters camp.

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It was a stunning display of  some brilliant net-play and telling body smashes from Zhang which caught Sindhu -- who led 12-8 in the first game -- off guard at critical moments of the game.

World No. 10 Zhang, who defeated Sindhu in the final of the India Open this February, was visibly relaxed, showed better control over the shuttle despite the drift factor.

With World No. 3 Sindhu struggling to get her returns right consistently, Zhang's job was made easier and she wrapped up the contest with ease. A large majority of the crowd left post Sindhu's loss, leaving the stadium half-empty.

Action from the mixed doubles clash between Awadhe Warriors' Christiansen Mathias & Ashwini Ponnappa and Hunters' Kim Sa Rang & Won Eom Hye.   -  G. Ramakrishna

 

Earlier, the mixed doubles pair of Mathias Christiansen and Ashwini Ponnappa gave the Warriors a flying start after defeating Kim Sa Rang and Won Eom Hye in what was the trump match for the latter.

Hunters' Mark Caljouw then pulled of a creditable win over Dong Keun Lee in the men's singles.

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World No. 5 Son Wan Ho scored a facile 15-10,15-11 win over World No. 33 Lee Hyun Il to make the team score 4-0 in Warriors favour.

The final match of the evening saw Isara Bodin and Kim Sa Rang beat Yang Lee and Mathias Christiansen to salvage a lone point for the Hyderabad Hunters.

The results

Awadhe Warriors bt Hyderabad Hunters 4-1(Christiansen Mathias & Ashwini Ponnappa bt Kim Sa Rang & Won Eom Hye (T) 15-12, 9-15, 15-11; Dong Keun Lee lost to Mark Caljouw 10-15, 15-7, 7-15; Zhang Beiwen bt P.V. Sindhu 15-13, 15-8;  Son Wan Ho bt Hyun Il Lee  15-10, 15-11; Yang Lee & Mathias Christiansen lost to Isara Bodin & Kim Sa Rang 9-15, 13-15).