PBL: Dae helps Mumbai Rockets get past Delhi Dashers

Mumbai Rockets relied on Beijing Olympics gold medallist Lee Yong Dae's excellent showing to beat Delhi Dashers 4-1 in keenly-fought tie of the Premier Badminton League (PBL) at the N.C. Bordoloi Indoor Stadium here on Monday.

Dae and Tan Boon Heong rallied to beat Ivan Sozonov and Vladimir Ivanov 14-15, 15-14, 15-10 in the closest men's doubles contest.   -  PTI

Mumbai Rockets relied on Beijing Olympics gold medallist Lee Yong Dae's excellent showing to beat Delhi Dashers 4-1 in keenly-fought tie of the Premier Badminton League (PBL) at the N.C. Bordoloi Indoor Stadium here on Monday.

Dae contributed in the men's doubles and mixed doubles wins to deflate Delhi.

Dae and Tan Boon Heong rallied to beat Ivan Sozonov and Vladimir Ivanov 14-15, 15-14, 15-10 in the closest men's doubles contest.

The Russians, who were trailing 8-11, banked on Mumbai's unforced errors to close the gap. Ivanov's timely smash and Sozonov's well-directed shots also aided Delhi in the opening game.

Mumbai benefitted from its opponents' mistakes and Dae's nice placement to equalise.

AS IT HAPPENED

Dae, who showed great anticipation, coordinated well with Heong to fox the Delhi players in the third game.

Sameer Verma, ranked 30th, stunned World No. 15 Wing Ki Wong Vincent 15-10, 15-12 in Delhi's trump match.

Displaying his court coverage, Sameer mixed his smashes, drop shots and soft touches to drift away from Vincent at 11-11 and claim the opening game.

Dealing with precision, Sameer, who got engaged in some fascinating rallies, outwitted Vincent and enabled Mumbai to lead by two points to minus one.

In a nail-biting women's singles contest, Delhi's Sung Ji Hyun defeated Beiwen Zhang 12-15, 15-14, 15-9 to narrow the points gap to 2-0.

Beiwen, who gained ground by bagging the first game, lost her touch and sixth-ranked Sung gained rhythm to grab a 13-5 lead in the second. Sung's mistakes helped Beiwen wipe out the eight-point deficit before Sung prevailed at 14-14.

Beiwen's error-prone game in the decider allowed Sung's come-from-behind win.

Tian Houwei's hard-fought victory over Son Wan Ho made Mumbai's trump match a do-or-die contest. In the company of Gabriela Stoeva, Lee exhibited his class as Mumbai sealed the mixed doubles match and the tie.

The result: Mumbai Rockets bt Delhi Dashers 4-1 (Lee Yong Dae-Tan Boon Heong bt Ivan Sozonov-Vladimir Ivanov 14-15, 15-14, 15-10; (Delhi's trump match) Sameer Verma bt Wing Ki Wong Vincent 15-11, 15-12; Beiwen Zhang lost to Sung Ji Hyun 15-12, 14-15, 9-15; Son Wan Ho lost to Tian Houwei 15-13, 13-15, 9-15; (Mumbai's trump match) Lee Young Dae-Gabriela Stoeva bt Pranav Jerry Chopra-Arathi Sara Sunil 15-11, 15-9)

Tuesday’s fixtures in Guwahati: North Eastern Warriors vs Ahmedabad Smash Masters at 7 p.m.