PBL: Carolina Marin takes Hyderabad to the semifinal

Hyderabad won 5-2 after winning four out of five matches in the tie of the Premier Badminton League in New Delhi on Thursday. It was Carolina Marin’s victory, worth two points, that gave an unassailable 4-2 lead and killed the competitive interest in the tie.

Carolina Marin of Hyderabad Hunters celebrates after beating Nitchaon Jindapol of Delhi Acers in the Premier Badminton League on Thursday.   -  PTI

Stretched unexpectedly, Carolina Marin pulled off the ‘trump’ match against a fighting Nitchaon Jindapol to take Hyderabad Hunters past Delhi Acers into the semifinal of the Premier Badminton League here on Thursday.

Hyderabad won 5-2 after winning four out of five matches in the tie. Acers garnered two points after World No. 2 Jan O Jorgensen won his ‘trump’ match against Rajiv Ouseph in quick time. In fact, Hyderabad needed to take three points from the tie to oust Bangalore for a place in the semifinal.

Once the semifinal line-up was drawn, it brought forth the prospects of a Saina Nehwal-P. V. Sindhu clash with Awadhe Warriors taking on Chennai Smashers. Hyderabad Hunters will take on Mumbai Rockets in the other semifinal on Friday.

It was Marin’s victory, worth two points, that gave an unassailable 4-2 lead and killed the competitive interest in the tie. After Hyderabad won the first two matches, with Sameer Verma overpowering Siril Verma and the doubles pair Satvik Reddy and Hong Kong girl Hou Chau racing past Vladmir Ivanov and G. Jwala, Jorgensen made it 2-2 for Acers.

Thereafter, Marin’s tie held the key for Hyderabad to passage to the semifinal. Marin led 7-1 but faced two game-points at 8-10 after a string off uncharacteristic errors. Jindapol could not capitalize on these opportunities as the Spaniard attacked relentlessly to draw parity.

Thereafter, Marin had two chances to seal the game but in vain. Marin led 14-13 holding two game-points. Jindapol once again drew level. On the final point, Jindapol let go of a return as long. Marin immediately challenged the call and was soon awarded the point and the game.

In the second game, Marin broke away from 4-4 and did not give Jindapol another point in the 31-minute match.

The men’s doubles that followed, both games were close but Boon Heong Tan and Wee Kiong Tan won the bigger points to end a disappointing campaign for the Russian duo of Ivanov and Ivan Sozonov.

The results:

Hyderabad Hunters beat Delhi Acers 5-2 (Sameer Verma bt Siril Verma 8-11, 11-3, 11-2; Hoi Wah Chau and Satwik Reddy bt G. Jwala and Vladimir Ivanov 11-3, 11-4; Rajiv Ouseph lost to Jan O Jorgensen (T) 5-11, 7-11; Carolina Marin bt Nitchaon Jindapol 15-14, 11-4; Boon Heong Tan and Wee Kiong Tan bt Vladimir Ivanov and Ivan Sozonov 11-9, 13-11)

Final standings: 1. Awadhe Warriors (21 points), 2. Mumbai Rockets (19), 3. Chennai Smashers (18), Hyderabad Hunters (14), Bangaluru Blasters (11), 6. Delhi Acers (8).

Semifinal line-up: Awadhe Warriors v Chennai Smashers; Mumbai Rockets v Hyderabad Hunters.