PBL: Hyderabad Hunters beat North Eastern Warriors 2-1 despite Sindhu's loss

Catch the live score, commentary, highlights and more from the first match of the Hyderabad leg of Premier Badminton League (PBL) Season 5 between Awadhe Warriors and Mumbai Rockets.

Updated : Jan 29, 2020 22:27 IST , Hyderabad

PV Sindhu will be playing in front of her home crowd for the first time since being crowned world champion in Basel in August 2019.
PV Sindhu will be playing in front of her home crowd for the first time since being crowned world champion in Basel in August 2019.

PV Sindhu will be playing in front of her home crowd for the first time since being crowned world champion in Basel in August 2019.




15-10 And Liew has done the damage as Hunters finish the game in style, winning 2-1 vs the North Eastern Warriors.

14-10 Into the body! And Lee fails to put it away .

12-9 Lee pocketing some points on the spin now. Sindhu has a worried look on her face. Liew just manages to get the wood to the shuttle, but fails to work it away.

12-6 Liew marching towards taking the tie for the Hunters. Lee goes for an unsuccessful review; the shuttle had clearly landed outside.

10-4 Seems like Lee's unbeaten run this PBL is coming to a disappointing end today.

8-3 Liew is running away with game here. Goes nice and high and plays it along the line. Perfect placement!

6-2 Great defence from Liew! Lee leaps up to dispatch a half-hearted smash. Liew picks it easily on the turn and plays it with extremely soft hands. Lee was out of balance, and there was absolutely no way he was getting back to it.

2-2 Lee pulls one back with another drive. Liew doesn't even try to return that one.


15-9 A lazy shot by Lee sees Liew bag the first game. Easy offerings!

13-8 A series of quick exchanges sees an end in favour of the Hunters as Liew drives one close to the baseline.

8-8 Lee pulls himself along the edge and tries to send in a smash. It crashes against the net.

5-5 Excellent netplay from the soft-handed Lee who sends in a drop. Liew gets under it; however, only to find the net.

3-4 Daren Liew lungs forward to nudge and try and execute the hairpin. The shuttle, however, crashes on his very side of the court.

1-2 Daren Liew pushes off to a corner, before gaining some elevation and sending in a 346 kph smash diagonally opposite. Lee dives but in vain.



15-10 And Hyderabad breaks the trump now, as Lee pulls off a service fault. What an unfortunate way to end things! SCORE: Hyderabad Hunters 1-1 North Eastern Warriors.

12-9 Lane is just too good for the Warriors. Keeps it short and low and Isara fails to get to the other end of it.

9-6 Isar pushing that one long after Lane sends in a power drive to the former's end. Out, again!

7-5 Lane with an unforced error now, whacking straight into the umpire's chair. To be honest, Lee wasn't in the best of positions there, but he was lucky enough to steal a point!

6-3 Ivanov fails to clear a superb service as he gets trapped in the net. Point to NE!

6-2 Out it goes as a bemused Lee looks on! A flying start for the Hunters yet again in the second game.

4-1 Ben Lane fakes a move to the right, and cuts it across to the opposite end. Isara dives forward in time to get to it but the power on the lift isn't enough to clear the net.


15-7 Hyderabad exacting revenge! They are doing everything in their power to break the Warriors' trump here.

13-6 A miscue from Lee again as he tries to work one away across the court but it drops outside the alley.

11-6 The previous point weighing in on Lee's mind sees him commit an unforced error and gift a point to Hyderabad.

9-5 A series of quick exchanges at the net concludes with Lane sending in a backhand drive.

4-4 Interesting call by the Hyderabad Hunters here to split Ivanov and Sean Vendy, who are partners on BWF tours. Was that a mistake, especially since this is the trump match? Meanwhile, Ivanov sends in a half-smash to the left end of the court to grab a point.

1-0 Hunters to serve: Ben Lane to Lee Yong Dae. And the home team bags the first point after Isara swings it out of play.



9-15 And there it is! What a win that is for Li, having beaten Sindhu on her home turf. The World Champion has been defeated. The home fans cannot believe their eyes!

6-10 Li gets it cross-court now. Sindhu gets to the shuttle at the net but fails to lift it.

5-9 Sindhu gets it all wrong again. Li making Sindhu run around every corner; draws her at the net this time before flicking one to the backcourt.

5-7 Li dictating terms here, as Sindhu finds the net again. This is not going well for Hyderabad.

5-5 The pressure is getting to Sindhu now? Li draws Sindhu to the left with a massive lift but Sindhu's smash lands out of bounds.

1-1 Li and Sindhu have very different approaches towards the game. While the 5ft 11in-tall Sindhu is resorting to an attacking approach, Li is keeping it mostly restricted at the net.


8-15 As a drop from Sindhu goes wide, it is the World No 10 who takes the first game.

8-13 Great smash from Sindhu straight into the body of Li and that sees the Hyderabad crowd revive its lost voice.

7-11 Sindhu's been forced to go very close to the line due to Li restricting most of her game at the centre-court. This time, however, it sails just beyond the alley line.

3-8 Big lead with Li for now. Sindhu, who hasn't been challenged in the league so far, is facing her biggest test.

3-7 Her smash in the next point falls just wide of the white line.

3-6 Poor serve but a great smash from Sindhu, who drills a smash down the line.

2-5 Flat hit from Sindhu and the fist pump is out. Directed to Li's backhand and the return flew wide of the side line.

1-5 Li off to a great start. An overhead smash down the line that finds the line.

1-3 Smart from Li. Wins the point with an overhead cross court winner.

1-1 Here comes the mighty Sindhu smash.   Down the line to Li's backhand and it was just too good for Li to revert.

0-1 Michelle Li to serve first and here we go! Should be a good one. The first point goes to the Li, who gets the better of Sindhu at the net with a push winner.



14-15Tanongsak breaks the trump in style! North Eastern Warriors has broken the trump and it ewas Verma's return that fell long. Verma challenged the call, but it was futile.

Drama till the very last point. Sourabh Verma, at one point, looked well on course to forcing a decider but a bit of bad luck alongside sloppy returns cost him and his team the trump match. The tie score now reads 1-0 in favour of the Warriors.

14-14 BACK LEVEL! This time, Verma's drop finds the tape and falls back into his own half.

14-13 Tanongsak saves one game point as his tap finds the tape again and just falls over.

14-12 One point away from forcing the decider! Smart badminton here. Lovely net exchange from the two and it was Verma who manipulated the direction really well to forces the error from Tanongsak

13-12 Lead with the Indian! A regulation forehand return from Tanongsak goes wrong as the birdie fails to cross over the net.

12-12 Verma draws back level!

11-12 Moment of brilliance!  Verma with a fierce smash from close range and he thought that was the end of the point. But Tanongsak somehow, just somehow, manages to return the smash off his backhand to win the point.

11-11 Another fantastic exchange at the net. Multiple taps over the net before Tanongsak unleashed a 410 kmph smash.

11-10 Oh.boy! Loose serve from Tanongsak. Verma latches onto it immediately with a push at the net.

10-10 Jump smash from Tanongsak as he draws back level again. He sets up for the big smash and cuts open to Verma's backhand late and beautifully. The deception was very well timed there.

9-9 Scores level again! Neither players are ready to give their opponent any edge in this game. Tanongsak with a body line smash from close range and Verma had no answers.

9-8 Tanongsak gets lucky there. His drop shot at the net just grazes the tape and trickles over.

9-7 A big smash from the Indian. A 327 kmph down the line jump smash.

8-7 Another quick, short exchange at the net and Verma is into the lead again.

7-7 Verma levels again!  Smart thinking at the net and the quick thinking from Verma forces an error from Tanongsak, whose backhand return crashes into net.

6-7 This time, a smart push from Tanongsak. He waited late and then pulled the trigger. Sourabh's return falls long. He challenges the call and the review is unsuccessful. Tanongsak inches ahead again.

6-5 What a tumble from Tanongsak. A 17-shot rally there, which ends with a lovely winner from the Thai shuttler.

6-4 Verma into the lead now. Verma with a jump smash closer to Tanongsak's body, whose return rams into the net.

4-4 Lovely from Verma! A quick cross court jab past Tanongsak's backhand.

2-0 Tanongsak fails to execute a hairpin net shot. Point to Sourabh!


14-15 But he doesn't go all the way as a 41-shot rally sees Sourabh get trapped in the net. Unlucky!

14-14 WHAT?! SOURABH VERMA HAS JUST PULLED A RABBIT OUT OF HIS HAT HERE. From 8-14 to 14-14, this has been quite the spectacular show.

12-14 Sourabh Verma coming back strongly. Can he do it. Four on the spin now. Flicks one just above the net and Tanongsak slams it straight into it.

10-14 Sourabh Verma tries to stay in the game, bagging two points on the trot. Tanongsak shoots well wide.

7-13 Tanongsak calling the shots here, as Sourabh launches it long again.

6-10 Tanongsak sees an opportunity and exploits it to bag another point: pushes one across to the left corner. Sourabh, too high up in the court, possibly couldn't get to that.

6-6 Tanongsak mixing it up nicely, luring Sourabh to employ the flighted shot. It goes long again.

5-5 Tanongsak drops another point, not getting enough power on the flick off his backhand. He was quick to respond and rush to the backcourt, but in vain.

4-4 Tanongsak was in two minds about the last shot and gets it onto the wood. Plays it quite late, as well, to see the bird trickle below the net.

2-3 Well left by Tanongsak as Sourabh launches one long.

0-1 Sourabh to serve. And right away, Tanongsak wins the first point, after his shot lands just within the back alley.



15-12 And Hunters have clinched the first tie of the night to take a 1-0 lead. It is the tall Ivanov again who comes to the rescue, smashing his way to glory after Krishna loses his balance towards the extreme right of the court. Kim was left all alone and Ivanov successfully tapped into the opportunity.

13-10 Ivanov sends in a scorcher at 345 kph backcourt. Did he expect that to come back? My guess would be a 'no'.

11-9 Kim falters this time! She normally has an impeccable net game but this time Sikki Reddy tactfully lets it glide wide. Kim plays it down straight but the shuttle flies out.15-12

9-8 Big Vlad rains down an unplayable smash near the baseline region of the opponent's court. Point to Hyderabad.

7-8 Ivanov swings hard across but it flies wide off the alley region. OUT!

7-5 Kim misjudges the power on the last shot by Sikki Reddy, as she lets it fly over her head. But the birdie lands well inside the baseline.

4-5 Ivanov loses control of the last shot as the shuttle fell dead at the base of the net.

1-3 Boom! Krishna Prasad smashes one down the center line and neither Sikki Reddy nor Ivanov could get to it.

1-0 Krishna Prasad finds the tape again after Kim does what she does best again. Continuously restricts the opponents to playing at the net and we all know who does a better job there.


8-15 Kim settles it! Hyderabad, put on the backfoot, resorts to a defensive approach in the last rally, but it doesn't work out in the side's favour.

5-11 Krishna Prasad tries to go for the 'round-the-back' shot, after the birdie flies over his head, but he misjudges the length. Misses it completely!

4-10 Kim is just too good at the net; the control she has on her shuttle is mindblowing.

3-8 The North East Warriors, however, wouldn't let go of things easy, as it bounces right back to secure four more points on the spin, to give itself a five-point cushion.

3-4 Interesting tactical move from Sikki Reddy, who finding the Warriors' duo backing up sends in a hairpin drop. None of the shuttlers could get under it on time.

2-2 Krishna Prasad finds the tape after Ivanov sends in a straight return, just missing the top of the net. The pace on it was enough to see Krishna falter.

0-1 The first point goes the Warriors' way, owing to Krishna Prasad's impeccable cross-court defence.


15-9 Ivanov uses his height and reach to smash one down at the other end of the court. Krishna Prasad couldn't possible do anything about it. Hyderabad takes Game 1!

13-9 Turn of the Big Vlad now! Ivanov gives himself the required elevation, to rain one down at Krishna Prasad, who finds the net.

8-9 Krishna's aggressive gameplay is winning everyone's hearts here! He keeps it straight again, slamming down hard multiple times. After a number of quick exchanges, Sikki Reddy misfires.

7-7 Sikki Reddy forces an error off Kim, serving late and low towards the extreme left of the court. The latter manages to get under the bird, but unfortunately doesn't manage to keep her return in line. OUT!

4-6 Krishna Prasad plays one straight at Sikki Reddy's body, who, unable to free her arms much, lifts one resorting to her backhand. But the shuttle flies out.

4-3 Krishna Prasad misfires. He keeps the play restricted close to the left alley for a while before Sikki Reddy fires one cross-court only for Krishna to swing wide.

0-1 Vrushali Upadhye, the chair umpire, introduces the players from each side. Hunters to serve: Sikki Reddy to Krishna Prasad. Ivanov's return floats beyond the baseline.







World champion, P.V. Sindhu, will spearhead Hyderabad Hunters’ challenge in the final stretch of the Premier Badminton League Season 5 which begins at the Gachibowli Indoor Stadium in Hyderabad, from Wednesday.

Sindhu will be playing in front of her home crowd for the first time since being crowned world champion in Basel in August 2019. She will also be hoping for an improved performance after a dismal start.

"We have not had the best of starts. But, that is in the past now. We are working on the things that need to be fine tuned and we will be ready for this crucial phase of the league,” she said.

"This is our home turf. With the support of our passionate fans, we are confident of upping our game and making a dash for the semifinals," says Hunters owner Dr. V.R.K. Rao.

In the first fixture tomorrow, bottom-placed Hunters will take on North-Eastern Warriors and Sindhu is wary of the challenge posed by Michelle Li and Lee Yong Dae in the rival line-up.

Hunters also boasts the likes of N. Sikki Reddy, Vladimir Ivanov, Daren Liew, Sourabh Varma, Ben Lane, Sean Vendy, Ruthvika Shivani Gadde and Priyanshu Rajawat in its ranks who will look to make use of the league to realise the bigger dreams in the international circuit.

"We got a key win against Awadhe Warriors though a low scoring tie, in our last encounter on Sunday. We needed that trigger to reignite ourselves and aim for a clean sweep from here on," says Sikki Reddy.

Hunters has four matches at home in a total of six, giving it the opportunity to improve its standing in the PBL table. The league stage will end on February 6 and the final is scheduled on February 9.


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