PBL: Sindhu, Priyanshu guide Hyderabad to comeback win over Mumbai

P.V. Sindhu-led Hyderabad Hunters came back from 0-3 down to beat Parupalli Kashyap's Mumbai Rockets in the Premier Badminton League (PBL) on Sunday.

Priyanshu Rajawat of Hyderabad Hunters in action at the Premier Badminton League (PBL) on Sunday.   -  Nagara Gopal

Priyanshu Rajawat of Hyderabad Hunters produced a stunning performance to outclass world No. 49 Lee Dong Keun to emerge as the star performer of the night as his team scored a 4-3 win over Mumbai Rockets in a Premier Badminton League (PBL) tie at the Gachibowli Indoor Stadium here on Sunday. 

Despite the win, Hunters is virtually out of contention for the knock-out phase with 10 points and Mumbai also has the same number of points. 

The 18-year-old Priyanshu, whom chief national coach Pullela Gopichand rates a prospect, showed amazing maturity, composure and more importantly controlled the pace of the game to get the better of the more experienced opponent. 

A trainee at Gopichand Academy and ranked world No. 284, Priyanshu’s deception in strokes and also the ability to come up with those precise half-smashes were a delight to watch. His net dribbles too were spot on, especially in the second game when he was dominant right from the start to ensure there were no escape route for Dong Keun. 

Earlier, it was not the kind of start Hunters would have hoped from the men’s doubles combine of Ben Lane and Vladimir Ivanov which lost to former World championship doubles medalists Kim Gi Jung and Kim Sa Rang.

MATCH HIGHLIGHTS | PBL, As it Happened: Hyderabad beats Mumbai 4-3

It was a wonderful display of coordination at the net by the Kim duo and the way they swapped their positions in the front and backcourt with ease was a treat to watch. One rally when Sa Rang took on Ivanov in the second game and won the point with a seemingly impossible return from a difficult angle was the high-point of the contest.  

In the men’s singles, Parupalli Kashyap of Mumbai won the Trump match for his team with a clinical 15-8, 15-13 win over Daren Liew to give his team a 3-0 lead in the overall tie. 

World No. 25 Kashyap finally ended his streak of four consecutive losses in PBL-5 with some of his trademark jump smashes against an opponent who was clearly out of sorts with erratic returns.

In the trump match for her team, World champion P.V. Sindhu was not expected to be stretched by the inexperienced and young Shreyanshi Pardesi and the former quite expectedly won the match with ease in 20 minutes. 

But again, PBL is expected to provide the likes of Shreyanshi the kind of platform to get a feel of what it means to play big players like Sindhu. she can have the satisfaction of getting the better of the champion in a net dribble and even getting her forehand down the line right in the second game. Otherwise, it was a one-sided match going the Hunters' way. 

With the scores tied three-all, it was the mixed doubles pair of Vladimir Ivanov and N. Sikki Reddy which clinched the tie for the home team. 

THE RESULTS: 

Hyderabad Hunters beat Mumbai Rockets 4-3 [Ben Lane & Vladimir Ivanov lost to Kim Gi Jung & Kim Sa Rang 10-15, 8-15; Daren Liew lost to Parupalli Kashyap (Trump match) 8-15, 13-15; P.V. Sindhu (Trump Match) beat Shreyanshi Pardeshi 15-5, 15-10; Priyanshu Rajawat beat Lee Dong Keun 15-13, 15-9; Vladimir Ivanov & N. Sikki Reddy beat Kim Sa Rang & Pia Zebadiah 15-8, 15-8]. 

  Dugout videos