PBL Highlights: Ahmedabad Smash Masters vs Awadhe Warriors

Follow the live updates from Tie 18 of the Premier Badminton League between Ahmedabad Smash Masters and Awadhe Warriors.

Viktor Axelsen will play a key role for the host in this tie against Awadhe Warriors.   -  PBL Media

Here's how Tie 18 of the Premier Badminton League between Ahmedabad Smash Masters and Awadhe Warriors went.

Awadhe Warriors win the tie 6-(-1) after winning the first three matches including the trump match and winning the next two too. The resounding victory puts Awadhe Warriors second  on the table wiith 16 points and just a point behind leader Hyderabad Hunters. Ahmedabad Smash Masters gets off to a poor start at home.

Here's today's order of play

Highlights [6-(-1)]

Match 5: Satwiksairaj/Sikki Reddy vs Ponnappa/Christiansen

Third game

12-15 But Awadhe Warriors hold on and win all the matches in the tie! A whopping 6-(-1) scoreline.

12-14 A brilliant drop from Sikki close to the net and a nail-biting finish on the cards.

10-13 Sikki Reddy and Satwiksairaj will feel they've got the point they deserve.

A long hold up in play as Sikki Reddy and Satwiksairaj contest a call. They think it was 'in' and stick by it. The referee eventually decides to call 'let'. The point will be played again.

9-13 Awadhe Warriors have managed to come back from going a game down yet again and Ponnappa and Christiansen are in a strong position in the decider. Can Ahmedabad salvage something from the tie?

Ashwini Ponnappa and Mathias Christiansen make a string comeback to win the second game 15-10.

 

After a close and intense contest, the first game goes to Satwiksairaj and Sikki Reddy 15-13.

Match 4: Sourabh Verma (ASM) vs Lee Dong Keun (AW)

Second game

11-15 Keun wins! And that's another win for Awadhe Warriors as Ahmedabad Smash Masters lose a trump match.

11-14 Too many unforced errors from Sourabh and Keun eases away and gets to match point. What a comeback! Looks like we'll see a match end in straight games after all. 

11-12 Lee Dong Keun has the lead. Sourabh looked in control for so long but now it looks like the tables have turned.

6-4 Sourabh has made a good comeback this game and looked the brighter of the two. Looks like we won't see a match end in straight games today.

First game

8-15 Lee Dong Keun easily takes the first game.

5-12 Keun has dominated the game and has a big lead as Sourabh tries to keep pace with his opponent.

Match 3: Viktor Alexsen (ASM) vs Son Wan Ho (AW)

Third game

Ouch. Did that hurt?

 

10-15 Match to Son and that settles the tie. Awadhe Warriors take  an unassailable lead (4-0) in the tie as Viktor Axelsen succumbs to another defeat this season. 

 

8-10 Another charge to the net and Son smashes it into Axelsen's body and immobilises him. 

7-8 Axelsen brings it level but Son charges to the net and smashes it low and out of the Dane's reach. The world no 6 needs to find points from somewhere or Awadhe Warriors could run away with the tie.

 

6-7 Son tried to pick up Axelsen's smash which was slower than expected and he nets it. Axelsen breaks into a smile. He knows he's got away with it.

3-7 Son's looked stronger, dictating the game.  

Second game

15-8 Axelsen levels the match at a game each. Shown a lot of heart to come back after that first game loss.

 

Son takes the first game 15-7 dominating Viktor Axelsen. Birthday boy Axelsen is Ahmedabad's hope to bring them back into this tie.

Match 2: Nandagopal/Satwiksairaj (ASM) vs Lee Yang/Christiansen (AW)

Third game

6-15 And that's the match! Awadhe Warriors now have 3 points in the tie.

5-12 A frustrated Satwiksairaj looks up at the heavens as smashes an easy one into the net.

0-5 A resounding lead so early for Awadhe Warriors. Yang and Christiansen have stepped it up and their oppponents are finding it hard to match their stride.

Second game

10-15 Game to Ahmedabad and the match is level. We go into the decider.

9-6 Ahmedabad Smash Masters living up to their name. No let up on the smashes. And with those muscles that he seems to admire very much, it shouldn't be too hard for Satwiksairaj.

 

8-6 The 18-year-old Satwiksairaj outlining the game strategy to his 27-year-old partner and Ahmedabad Smash Masters go into the mid-game interval with the lead.

4-4 Nandagopal nets a return and their lead is gone.

Ladies, take note.

 

3-1 The Ahmedabad pair have started well in their pursuit to level the match.

First game

12-15 Awadhe Warriors win the first game.

11-12 A beautiful shot from Satwiksairaj as Ahmedabad fight their way back into the game.

6-9 Unlucky for the Smash Masters. Christiansen's shot kisses the net on the way and drops tamely on the other side. Customary apologies follow. This happens on the playground a lot, doesn't it? No apologies though.

 

3-3 Unbelievable rally! Both in control until Christiansen plays one into the net and brings an end to a super fast 42-shot rally.

An Asian Games bronze medallist and India Open 2018 champion on one side and a Commonwealth Games 2018 gold medallist on the other. Promising.

Match 1 : Kirsty Gilmour (ASM) vs Beiwen Zhang (AW)

 

Beiwen Zhang gets her third consecutive win of the season and puts Awadhe Warriors 2-0 up in the tie.

Third game

11-15 Beiwen Zhang wins the trump match 2-1 for Awadhe Warriors, coming back from a game down. That's two points to Warriors in the tie.

11-13 This time, it's Zhang with the error as she nets an easy shot. Gilmour fights back.

8-12 Some really poor shots are costing Gilmour at the moment.

5-9 Gilmour keeps patient in the rally until Zhang makes an error. This point could ger the Smash Masters' player back on track.

4-8 At the mid-game interval Zhang's in the lead. The frustrated Kirsty Gilmour who started the match is struggling with many unforced errors.

3-6 Zhang's on the attack. Brilliant play at the net as she forces Gilmour to the back of the court.

Second game

11-15 Awadhe Warriors pull one back! The match is level.

11-13 Gilmour's shot goes long and that's game point to Zhang.

7-8 This one's much more interesting as they toe-to-toe. When one attacks, the other matches it.

First game

 

15-10 And that's the game. Kirsty Gilmour wins it after being on the front foot througout.

7-5 A 23-shot rally is ended as Zhang cutely cuts it, out of Gilmour's reach.

4-3 With some brilliant bit of attacking play, Kirsty Gilmour gets four points in a row.

First up is Kirsty Gilmour for Ahmedabad Smash Masters against Beiwen Zhang for Awadhe Warriors. Gilmour looks the underdog against the world no. 10 but she's not to be written off. Awadhe looks confident of winning this one as it has chosen this as its trump match.