PBL 2018-19: Mumbai Rockets takes off with a bang

Ahmedabad Smash Masters cruised to a comfortable win against North Eastern Warriors in the second tie.

Sameer Verma bested H.S. Prannoy 15-14, 15-9.   -  vivek bendre

Lee Yong Dae’s presence on court and the energy off it fired up teammates Sameer Verma and Shreyanshi Pardeshi as Mumbai Rockets crushed Delhi Dashers 5-0 in a Premier Badminton League season four tie here on Sunday.

With the captain watching after winning the men’s doubles, Sameer bested H.S. Prannoy 15-14, 15-9. “I was nervous going into the match, Prannoy has never lost in PBL before and I was aware. Winning the first game made me confident.”

Shreyanshi also spoke about feeding off the energy from the Korean after an upset win over Russian ace Evgenya Kosetskaya in women’s singles.

As it happened

“Watching him play is an inspiration, his energy is infectious and forces you to do something for the team,” said the Indian, whose swift movement and retrieving, troubled her famed rival in a 12-15, 15-8, 15-10 victory.

Delhi also ended up losing its Trump Match when down 0-4, the match out of its grasp by then.

Referring to Lee Yong Dae, Sameer said: “Training with him, watching him prepare for games and play two doubles matches (men’s and mixed) fired us up and given the chance against a player like Prannoy was additional motivation.”

Dae led the way for Mumbai in the opening men’s doubles, partnering Kim Gi Jung. With the two Koreans on the top of their game, the decision to nominate it as the Trump Match paid off.

Chai Bao and Wang Sije snatched the first game but did not have answers to the onslaught from across the net, losing the next two. Success eluded Dae in the mixed doubles, but the setback did not hinder Mumbai victory.

Saina Nehwal’s name was missing in the North Eastern Warriors line-up for the next match, the official reason being a few niggles.

Smash Masters thwarts Warriors

Rituparna Das cashed in on the opportunity to down Kristy Gilmour in the women’s singles. Satwiksaireddy R (Ahmedabad Smash Masters) gave fans many moments to cheer. The lanky teenager’s ferocity in smashes and partner Lee Chun Hei’s swift movement produced a thriller. NEW ended up losing a Trump Match, the Indian and Hong Kong teammate won a pulsating men’s doubles tie 10-15, 15-14, 15-14.

The results:

Mumbai Rockets bt Delhi Dashers 5-0 (MD: Trump Match-Lee Yong Dae & Kim Gi Jung bt Chai Bao & Wang Sije 14-15, 15-12, 15-9; MS: Andeers Antonsen bt Tommy Sugiarto 15-13, 15-14; MS: Sameer Verma bt H S Prannoy 15-14, 15-9; Lee Yong Dae & Pia Zebadah lost to Jongjit Maneepong & Lee Chia Hsin 11-15, 12-15: WS: Shreyashi Pardeshi bt TM-Evgenya Kosetskaya 12-15, 15-8, 15-10).

Ahmedabad Smash Masters bt North Eastern Warriors 4-1 (MD: Satwiksaireddy R & Lee Chia Hsin bt TM-Yoo Yeong Song & Lao Ming Chun 10-15, 15-14, 15-14; MS: TM-Viktor Axelsen bt Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk 15-11, 15-14; WS: Kristy Gilmour lost to Rituparna Das 8-15, 9-15; MS: Tian Houwei bt Darren Liew 15-11, 10-15, 15-10; XD: Satwiksaireddy R & Sikki Reddy bt Kim Ha Na & Yoo Yeon Seong  15-8, 15-7).