PBL 2018-19: Sindhu beats Saina as Hyderabad Hunters dominate North Eastern Warriors

Saina Nehwal, who was making her first appearance this PBL season, was treated to a rousing welcome for from the crowd at the Balewadi Stadium.

P.V. Sindhu overcame a defeat a first game defeat to beat Saina Nehwal in the women's singles match.   -  Special Arrangement

P.V. Sindhu defeated Saina Nehwal 11-15, 15-9, 15-5 in the marquee fixture on a night filled with attractive strokeplay and courtcraft as Hyderabad Hunters finished with a score of 5-0 against North Eastern Warriors in the Premier Badminton League. 

Hyderabad's men’s singles specialists Lee Hyun Il and Mark Caljouw produced powerhouse performances to snuff out resistance after Kim Ha Na and Lao Min Chun won the first match for North Eastern Warriors. Lee won a trump Match, while Mark snatched trump match points by outclassing Tian Houwei, putting the tie beyond Warriors' reach. In the men's doubles round, Bodin Isara and Kim Sa Rang added another another win for the Hunters as it went three-points clear at the top of the table.

READ | Key Highlights: Hyderabad Hunters thrashes North Eastern Warriors

Saina, who was making her first appearance this PBL season, was treated to a rousing welcome for from the crowd at the Balewadi Stadium. The stage was set for an interesting contest between form and experience - current world number three Sindhu against world number nine Saina, a crowd-puller hampered by a shin injury. Sharp on court and switching seamlessly between defence and offence, the latter broke into celebration after winning the opening game.

Playing true to her reputation for tenacity, Sindhu regained the stranglehold in the second game and focussed on tiring out Saina. India’s number one shuttler banked on half-smashes and clever use of angles to pile on pressure till she got her way and won the second to drawl level. Fans split into rival camps as the third game got underway. Saina had regained momentum but played catch up in the face of ruthless hitting across the net as Sindhu cruised to a clear victory. Hunters led 3-1 at this stage.

Lee from South Korea faced off against Tanongsak from Thailand in a contest between two left-handers, finding acute angles to sent the bird gliding across the net. Both attempted to deceive the other using wristy, deceptive shots. The tie went to the third game, serving up a thrill for the fans watching the Korean turned on the aggression to pocket the tie.

The results

Hyderabad Hunters bt North Eastern Warriors 5-0

Kim Sa Rang & Eom Hye Won lost to Kim Ha Na & Lao Min Chun 8-15, 14-15

Lee Hyun Il-(T) bt Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk 10-15, 15-13, 15-9

P.V. Sindhu bt Saina Nehwal 11-15, 15-9, 15-5

Mark Caljouw bt Tian houwei-(T)  15-11, 15-14

Bodin Isara & Kim Sa Rang bt Liau Min Chun & Yoo Yeon Song 15-10, 12-15, 15-14.