PBL: Awadhe Warriors finish top, Hyderabad Hunters second

Awadhe Warriors wins 5-0 to go top of the table with Hyderabad Hunters, who went down 3-4 against Delhi Dashers, finish second.

P.V. Sindhu led Hyderabad Hunters is top in the standings.   -  Nagara Gopal

Follow the live updates from Wednesday's double-header where Hyderabad Hunters takes on Delhi Dashers and lastly it is a clash between Awadhe Warriors and North Eastern Warriors.

The high-flying Hyderabad Hunters top the standings with  21 points while the Delhi Dashers with two points languish at the bottom.

In the second match of the evening, Saina Nehwal-led North Eastern Warriors with 11 points finds itself just above the Dashers. Its opponent Awadhe Warriors is placed second with 20 points.

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15-12 Into the net from Arjun and that gives Awadhe Warriors its fourth win of the day. It takes today's tie 5-0.

14-9 Another smash from Lee and another point for the duo. Match point.

13-9 Lee jumps at the net and smashes into Dhruv's face. He is sorry about it but will gladly take that point.

 

12-8 Smash from Lee into Yoo's body.

11-8 Arjun intercepts well at the net and the return is too quick for Yoo to react.

10-7 And Yoo goes well wide this time. Awadhe Warriors inching closer to the win here.

9-6 Bad call from Yoo to let the shuttle go. It drops right onto the line instead of going wide.

8-6 Silly error from Yoo and Awadhe Warriors with the lead at the break. The North Eastern Warriors duo have put up a better fight in the game but Lee and Arjun have stayed a step ahead throughout.

7-6 On the defensive, Dhruv's forehand return goes wide.

7-4 A decent rally, finally, and Lee finishes with a deceptive drop shot. It was a 29 shot rally, in case you were wondering.

6-4 Lee has been good at the baseline today. A jumpsmash this time give him the point.

3-3 Dhruv smashes into the net. That's the duo's fifth forehand unforced error.

1-2 Seong and Dhruv with smashes to take the lead. Can the pair keep the lead all the way?

15-5 Seong goes wide at the baseline and Awadhe Warriors takes the first game. At this rate, the second and final game of the day shouldn't take long to get done. The North Eastern Warriors duo haven't turned up tonight.

13-5 Another error from Seong and Awadhe Warriors get closer to take the game.

11-3 Forehand shot from Lee lands right on the line.

8-2 A crosscourt shot at the net from Lee gives Awadhe the point to take the duo into the break.

6-2 Dhruv goes wide on a return.

5-0 Quick start from the Awadhe Warriors pair, racing away to a five point lead.

1-0 Dhruv into the net and Awadhe Warriors starts on the right foot.

The final match of the day is the men's doubles. Lee Yang and M.R Arjun vs Dhruv Kapila and Yoo Yeon Seong.

10-15 Tanongsak challenges a call and wins it He takes the point, the game and the match. Easy victory for him.

10-14 Smash from the baseline from Tanongsak and he gets to match point.

9-12 Audacious from Tanongsak. He follows up Son's drop shot with another slow, cheeky one. Son wasn't expecting that and he can't react quck enough.

9-11 Son tries a backhand drop shot but Tanongsak is very quick to it. Before it can start its descent, he hits is beyond Son's reach.

8-10 Good call from Tanongsak to let a return from Son go wide.

8-8 Wide at baseline from Tanongsak and Son starts strong after the break.

7-8 Tanongsak started very well but Son has come back strong. Tanongsak takes the lead into the break but Son will be rearing to come back and get on with the game.

7-7 A forehand smash down the line and Tanongsak can't get a return. Has he lost his way here?

6-7 Aggressive from Son. A train of smashes and one finally catches Tanongsak on the wrong side.

4-6 Both players at the net but Tanongsak's return from Son's drop shot doesn't have the power to go over the net.

3-5 Jumpsmash from Son goes into the net.

3-3 Tanongsak's drop shot goes just wide. He hasn't been shy to use it today but it doesn't come off this time.

2-2 Son takes the lead but squanders it by going long.

0-1 Tanongsak continues where he left off, a smash into Son's body winning the first point of the second game.

8-15 Tanongsak takes the game with a forehand smash. He has been on top throughout the game and looks on course to win North Eastern Warriors' its first match of the day.

6-14 Tanongsak follows up a couple of smashes with a few drop shots and then gets to game point with a smash.

5-12 A backhand drop shot from Tanongsak helps takes his closer to sealing the first game.

5-9 Tanongsak isn't shy with his footwork today. If not smashing from the baseline, he is at the net winning points from drop shots.

5-8 Another smash and Tanongsak takes the lead into the interval.

5-7 Tanongsak with a 359 kmph smash and Son's return goes into the net.

5-6 Tanongsak at the net and a drop shot wins him the point.

4-4 Son with a smash and Tanongsak doesn't get enough control on his return and it sails wide.

3-2 Son with a clever drop shot at the net to get take the lead.

0-2 Strong start from Tanongsak.

Son Wan Ho vs Tanongsak Saensombook is the next match of the tie.

15-7 Zhang finishes things off in style, a cross court drop shot winner. She wins the trump match 11-15, 15-11, 15-7.

14-7 Zhang hits it long.

13-6 Zhang with a jump smash to the back court. 324-kmph smash.

12-6 Saina hits it long.

11-6 Saina gets it right this time, hits a forehand winner to the back court.

9-5 Winner. Saina with a pass at the net.

8-3 Zhang goes into the interval with a five-point lead.

The Awadhe Warriors bench is happy.

6-2 Zhang with a delicate cross-court drop shot.

4-2 Forehand winner down the line from Zhang.

Third game

15-11 Saina, trying to push for the point, hits it wide. This exciting match moves into the decider.

13-11 Zhang hits it long this time.

12-10 Saina fails to get her shot over the net. The shuttlers were exchanging drop shots too close to the net.

11-10 Saina hits it long again.

10-10 Saina with another error, hits it long.

8-10 Make that five. Zhang hits it long.

Four successive points for Saina.

8-8 A pass to the back court before she smashes it home from the net!

8-7 Deception at its best! Saina measured herself well before she hit a drop shot from the baseline after a lengthy rally.

8-6 Powerful smash from Saina after the mid game interval.

8-5 Smash from Zhang and Saina could not get her return over the net.

7-5 Zhang hits it against the net.

5-4 Zhang hits it wide.

4-3 Zhang with a superb cross-court shot but hawk-eye calls it wide.

4-2 Saina fluffs her overhead shot.

3-1 Zhang's overhead pick-up shot goes wide.

1-0 Zhang with a hard smash to get things underway.

Second game

11-15 Zhang hits her cross-court wide. Saina takes the opening game.

10-14 Saina with a cross-court pass near the net.

10-13 Saina hits it long.

8-12 Zhang hits it long. Well judged leave by Saina.

7-11 Saina misses her shot near the net.

5-10 What a rally! Good defensive game from Saina in the 24-shot rally before she finishes it off with a forehand winner near the net.

5-9 Zhang hits it against the net.

4-8 Saina with a winner and takes the lead at the mid game interval.

4-7 Zhang with a backhand drop near the net.

3-7 Zhang hits it wide.

3-4 Saina hits it long but it lands on the line.

0-1 Saina shows her intent straightaway. She gets into good positions and sends down a winner.

First game

Nehwal vs Zhang

Next up, it is Biewen Zhang vs Saina Nehwal in North Eastern Warriors' trump match.

15-14 A nail-biting finish to the match. Bad service from Liao gives Mathias a chance to kill the match immediately and he smashes a forehand jump shot from the serve to take the game and the match. Awadhe Warriors remains the only team to have won each of its trump matches.

14-14 Mathias payed most of the rally and a tired backhand goes wide.

14-13 A forehand smash from Mathias goes into the net.

14-12 Mathias gets lucky. Liao's crosscourt shot falls just wide. Mathias celebrates but Liao asks for a review, which is unsuccessful. Match point to Awadhe Warriors.

12-12 Mathias smashes into Liao's body and he manages to get a return, but it sails towards the chair umpire.

11-12 Good net play from Ashwini and Liao loses his cool in the rally, returning into the net.

10-11 A forehand winner from Mathias sees Awadhe Warriors stay in the hunt for this game.

9-8 Mathias with a jumpsmash from the baseline and Liao was nowhere close to getting a return.

8-7 Awadhe Warriors comes back from 2 points down to take the lead at the break.

5-6 Mathias smashes into Kim's body and reduces the deficit.

4-6 Liao with a smash into Ashwini's body and the North Eastern Warriors dup take a two point lead.

4-4 Liao makes Mathias work by going to his other side with each return and, in a bid to end the rally, Mathias goes for a smash but the shuttle dipped well before crossing the net.

3-2 Mathias' crosscourt falls just wide off the baseline.

1-0 Clever from Mathias. He wants for Liao to make his movement before going to the opposite side with the return.

15-7 Kim into the net this time and Awadhe Warriors takes the first game. Not what you expect from the costliest female mixed doubles player.

14-7 Game point to the Awadhe Warriors pair as Liao's return goes into the net.

12-7 Mathias with a jump smash now.

11-6 Jump smash from Liao to take the point.

9-5 Kim tries to force a point but, aiming to go for a shot down the line, goes well wide.

8-5 Ashwini and Mathias combine well to take a lead going into the break.

6-4 Ashwini comfortably clears the net this time and the smash goes past Mathias even before he could react.

4-3 Kim goes wide and Awadhe Warriors takes the lead for the first time.

2-3 Mathias is made to run from end to end before Ashwini goes for another smash but fails to go over the net this time.

1-1 Ashwini with a beautiful smash from the baseline which goes between Chung and Kim and lands on the opposite baseline.

Next up is the mixed doubles: Mathias Christiansen and Ashwini Ponnappa vs Liao Min Chung and Kim Ha Na. It it also Awadhe Warriors' trump match.

15-13 Upbeat and eager to level things, Houwei smahses into the net and Lee takes the game and the match.

14-13 A quick rally at the net and Houwei, playing into Lee's body, wins another point. Can he force a third game here?

14-12 Lee goes down to the ground twice to get a return but Houwei is at the net the second time and he smashes beyond Lee's reach. Lee still has two match points.

14-11 Houwei goes wide and Lee gets a match point.

12-11 Lee tries to be cheeky with a drop shot to catch Houwei unaware but he doesn't get enough power on it and it doesn't clear the net.

12-10 Lee is turning on the heat now. A good jump smash sees him retake the two point lead.

10-9 Successful review from Houwei and he takes the point. Was called out but how has he seen that? That review looked more like a way to break Lee's rhythm than a confident call but it goes his way and he will not complain.

10-8 Back to normal proceedings. Houwei's smash, in the middle of a good rally, goes into the net and Lee gets the point.

8-7 But Lee, again, takes the lead going into the break.

7-7 A crosscourt smash down the line and Houwei has leveled the score in this game.

7-6 Good fight back from Houwei. Controls his aggressive side and make Lee run around for returns, forcing him to make errors.

7-2 Lee's game plan is to sit back and wait for his opponent to lose his cool. Sounds like a boring plan but it is working wonders for him. He is returning everything that Houwei has thrown in his direction with ease, which is pushing Houwei is try and force a mistake - unsuccessfully - from Lee.

5-2 Lee has upped the ante in this game. Been a lot more aggressive than he was earlier but Houwei gets this point with another shot down the line.

3-1 It's Lee's turn to show his aggressive game. Jumps and smashes from the baseline. Houwei is diving but can't get a return. He had no chance there, the shuttle was dipping very quickly.

Second game: 0-1 Houwei starts with a smash down the line. Not the first time we have seen that in this match. But the question is, can he make those points count by not giving away needless ones?

15-10 And Lee takes the first game!

14-9 Careless shot from Houwei. Lazy movement and the shuttle nestles into the net. Game point to Lee.

12-9 When he gets his shot right, it looks very good. Like the shot down the line now to win a point. Can Houwei calm him nerves in the longer rallies and keep the game from going to Lee?

11-8 Lee is playing really safe. Calma nd patient from him and another long rally, this time with 34 shots, ends with another smash that sails well wide.

9-8 Don't think Houwei is a fan of long rallies. A 28 shot one ends with his smash sailing well long.

8-8 Beautiful drop shot from Houwei to level the score.

8-7 Lee takes the lead into the break. He returns whatever Houwei throws at him, hoping for an aggressive return to break the rally. And it does, with Houwei going well wide in an attempt to force the point.

6-7 A second successive point off a smash for Houwei, this time from almost at the baseline.

6-6 A 38 shot rally now and this time Houwei gets his smash right. Jumps and smacks it into the ground. Lee was diving but could barely reach that smash.

5-5 A 26 shot rally ends with Houwei smashing into the net, again. Lee is playing a more patient game here, waiting for his opponent to make the aggressive moves.

4-4 Houwei was eager to catch Lee unaware on the return but his smash goes into the net. Couldn't get the height he wanted to there.

2-3 Houwei at the net for a rally, produces a couple of smashes which Lee is equal to but he finally breaks his returns by going wide and to his other side.

2-1 Lee takes the lead with a simple smash at the net.

0-1 Shuttle drifts wide at the baseline and Houwei takes the first point of the match.

Lee Dong Keun vs Tian Houwei is the first match of this tie.

The Awadhe Warriors has already qualified for the semifinals. Today's matches will just be about where they finish at the top.

 

 

 

Next up, it is Awadhe Warriors and North Eastern Warriors.

 

Final score: Hyderbad Hunters 3-4 Delhi Dashers

 

Despite the defeat in the tie, Hyderabad Hunters has secured a place in the semifinal and could finish on top of the table depending on the result in Awadhe Warriors' tie next. Hyderabad is on 24 points and Awadhe Warriors is on 21.

 

 

 

Second game

15-12 Kim and Won were just too strong and resisted a comeback from the Delhi Dashers pair.

11-9 Wang Sijie and Lee Chia Hsin are staging sort of a comeback.

8-4 Hyderabad Hunters is already into the semifinals and a win in this match could increase its chances of finishing at the top of the table. Kim Sa Rang Eom Hye Won are still on top at the mid-game interval. The experience of the pair is coming in handy.

First game

15-6 With an unbeatable backhand Kim wraps up the first game for Hyderabad Hunters.

13-6 Kim and Won are having it too easy at the moment. Look much quicker than the Delhi pair. 

It's time for the final match of the day. A mixed doubles match between Kim Sa Rang and Eom Hye Won of Hyderabad Hunters and Wang Sijie and Lee Chia Hsin of Delhi Dashers.

Hyderabad Hunters 2-4 Delhi Dashers

Second game

10-15 Sugiarto wins! Caljouw put up very little resistance and fell to too many unforced errors as Tommy Sugiarto puts Delhi Dashers 4-2 up in the tie, with only one game to go.

8-13 Another unforced error from Mark Caljouw and it's becoming too easy for Tommy Sugiarto who is inching closer to a straight-game victory.

8-11 Sugiarto on his knees to keep the rally alive as Caljouw matches every shot of his but the Dutchman eventually smashes into the net and the 48-shot rally comes to an end. 

8-8 Caljour with a powerful smash into Sugiarto's body and he levels.

6-8 At the mid-game interval, Sugiarto is still in the lead.

5-7 Caljouw plays a poor shot to the bak of the court and it goes wide. 

First game

6-15 Sugiarto makes short work of Caljouw's attack. A plethora of unforced errors and neat winners takes the Delhi Dashers 1-0 up.

5-12 Tommy Sugiarto with a smash and Caljouw has no answer.

4-11 Another unforced error by Caljouw and Sugiarto takes a healthy lead.

3-9 Caljouw goes wide.

3-8 Another jump smash from Sugiarto and he has a healthy lead at the break.

3-7 A jump smash from Sugiarto.

3-6 Sugiarto goes long and Caljouw gets the serve.

1-5 Sugiarto in full flow. He races to a lead with a mix of delicate placements and hard smashes.

0-2 Two unforced errors from Caljouw sees Sugiarto taking the early lead.

It is now time for M. Caljouw vs Tommy Sugiarto.

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Hyderabad Hunters 2-3 Delhi Dashers

P.V. Sindhu beats Evgeniya Kosetskaya 2-0 (15-11, 15-9).

15-9 Sindhu does it in style, a forehand winner to finish it off.

14-9 Kosetskaya goes long, at the baseline.

12-8 Kosetskaya wins a point but cannot retain the serve as she goes long.

11-7 A cross court smash from Sindhu and Kosetskaya is just a spectator.

10-7 Kosetskaya goes long, at the baseline.

8-7 Kosetskaya comes back a tad stronger. A forehand winner and an unforced error from the Indian sees the Dashers' player draw close.

8-5 Sindhu ups the ante and makes short work of Kosetskaya's charge. She takes the lead at the break.

4-4 Kosetskaya smashes it back to Sindhu and the Indian cannot return it.

3-3 It is all square and the Russian looks determined to take this to the decider.

2-1 Sindhu takes two point on the trot.

0-1 Kosetskaya takes the first point.

Second game

Our correspondent Anjana Senthil, from the stadium, says: Sindhu pockets the first game 15-11. Was not an easy first game as the score suggests. Sindhu made to work hard by the equally tall Russian Evgeniya for her points.

15-11 Kosetskaya goes long and hands Sindhu the first game.

14-10 A error at the net from Sindhu gives Kosetskaya a point.

13-9 Another unforced error from Sindhu.

13-8 A backhand dive from Sindhu isn't enough to return a Kosetskaya shot.

13-7 Kosetskaya goes long, at the baseline.

11-7 A marginal call, the drift created by Sindhu saves her as the shuttle falls in.

10-7 Sindhu prevails in a 31-shot rally. Kosetskaya has no clue to retrieve one from her backhand backcourt.

9-7 The Russian finds the net, after a big rally, and Sindhu has a two-point cushion.

8-7 Sindhu goes into the break with a slender lead.

7-7 A couple of unforced errors from Sindhu, goes wide, and Kosetskaya restores parity.

7-5 A jump smash at 375 km/hr from Sindhu and Kosetskaya has no answers.

6-5 Kosetskaya's return finds the net.

4-4 Sindhu plays a delicate cross-court shot and it is too good for Kosetskaya.

1-2 After initial trading of the first point, Sindhu goes long, at the baseline.

First game

Sindhu is meeting Evgeniya Kosetskaya.

Our correspondent Anjana Senthil, from the stadium, says: As usual, the most thunderous applause is reserved for P.V. Sindhu!

It is time for P.V. Sindhu's game. It is Hyderabad's trump match.

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Hyderabad Hunters 0-3 Delhi Dashers

8-15 Bodin smashes it wide. Delhi Dashers wins its first trump match of the season. Jongit and Chai wins 8-15, 15-9, 15-8.

7-13 Jongjit hits it long once again.

6-11 Jongjit hits it long.

3-10 Bodin gets his smash right this time.

There hasn't been much to cheer about for Delhi Dashers this season, which is languishing at the bottom of the table with just two points. 

1-8 Bodin with another error, hits it long.

1-7 Bodin hits it really wide.

0-5 Bodin hits it into the net and the Dashers pair is running away with this match now.

0-2 Chai with a superb cross-court pass which creeps over the net.

Indian Tennis star Sania Mirza is in attendance today.

Third game

9-15 Defensive cross-curt backhand from Chai. Delightful shot from the Chinese shuttler. The Dashers take it to the decider.

9-13 george hits it into the net.

8-12 Jongjit hits it into the corner of the back court.

8-10 Good play from the Dashers pair. Hunters duo crack under the relentless attacking pressure.

 

7-9 George hits it against the net.

6-7 Strong smash from Goerge and Jongit puts his return wide.

5-6 Bodin finds the corner of the back court.

4-5 Beauty! A nonchalant pass near the net from George, lands the shuttle inside the side court line.

3-4 Jongjit hits it right into the net.

0-3 Bodin misses another smash.

0-2 Bodin's smash finds the net.

Second game

 

15-8 George with a winner and Hunters take the opening game with ease.

13-7 Chai with a good push near the net, finds the gap behind Hunters' duo.

12-6 Service fault called on Jongjit.

11-6 Easy smash on offer for Chai and he takes it well.

10-5 Bodin now forces an error from the net.

9-4 Good defensive game by George before he passes it into open court.

7-4 Another shot from Bodin to the back court.

6-4 Bodin hits a smash to the back court.

5-4 Arun George hits it wide.

First game

Delhi Dashers' trump match up next. Men's double action where Chai Biao and M. Jongjit take on Arun George and Bodin Isarra.

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Hyderabad Hunters 0-1 Delhi Dashers

 

H. S. Prannoy: "Terrible season for us but important win for me. Struggling since last seven months (with tummy issue). Next couple of months will be difficult as well. Will take a break from BWF competitions for next two months before I return in March."

Prannoy survives a scare, wins the opening match 15-10, 9-15, 15-12. The 20-year-old Rahul gave a good account of himself.

12-15 Prannoy gets the job done and just. A smash followed by a stab at the net forced Rahul's shot into the net.

12-14 Rahul gets closer with another point. 342-kmph smash.

11-14 Back-to-back unforced errors from Prannoy. Glimmer of hope for Rahul.

9-14 Prannoy's backhand stab on the turn goes wide.

8-14 Rahul goes for raw power but he fails to breach Prannoy's defensive game. The youngster smashes it into the net.

8-13 Prannoy with an unforced error.

7-12 Prannoy with a well-timed smash. 387-kmph smash.

7-11 A delicate lob by Prannoy after a long rally.

6-11 Poor from Rahul. Serves into the net.

5-10 Prannoy's defensive clear goes long.

4-10 A wld hack by Rahul! Hits it wide.

4-7 Prannoy with an uncharacteristic wayward shot.

3-6 Excellent offensive game by Prannoy before his lob lands on the line. Rahul misjudged it with a leave there near the net.

3-5 Wild shot by Rahul, hits it wide.

3-3 Rahul with a deceptive shot, manages to get over the net.

1-3 Rahul jumps at the opening and hits a winner.

0-3 Backhand stab by Prannoy and Rahul misses his shot.

0-2 Rahul hits it against the net.

 

Third game

It will be quite the scalp for the 20-year-old Rahul if he goes on to win the third game.

15-9 Another unforced error from Prannoy and Rahul takes the second game. We move to the deciding game now.

14-9 Prannoy's shot is ruled out after a hawkeye review.

13-9 Prannoy hits it wide.

12-9 A superb rally ends with Prannoy's lob finding the net. Prannoy with some good defensive play.

11-8 Rahul's pick up shot doesn't get over the net.

11-6 Another unforced error from Prannoy.

 

10-6 Prannoy had the opening there, but his backhand shot goes wide.

Prannoy seems to be struggling at the court today. His movement is quite restricted. A stomach bug suggests the commentators.

9-4 Prannoy's jump smash hits the net.

7-4 Rahul forces an error from Prannoy from his smash. 384-kmph smash.

6-4 Rahul misses his mark with the smash, hits it against the net after a 24-shot rally.

6-2 Prannoy lets Rahul's pass go but it lands inside the baseline.

5-2 Air shot from Prannoy near the net.

3-2 Rahul hits it long.

2-1 Rahul connects with his smash well. Prannoy's retrieval doesn't get over the net.

Second game

10-15 Rahul misses his mark with his smash. Too many errors in the opening game from the youngster.

9-14 Prannoy's backhand slice goes wide.

8-13 Delicate play by Prannoy to get the point after a 27-point rally.

8-12 Smashing forehand from Prannoy. 397-kmph smash.

8-11 Rahul with a cross-court forehand.

6-11 Prannoy with a good back hand on the run and Rahul fails to retrive it.

Prannoy took a 8-4 lead into the mid game interval. Hunters' Rahul is giving a good account of himself against the experienced Prannoy.

First game

R. Y. Chittabonia vs H. S. Prannoy

Hyderabad Hunters vs Delhi Dashers