PBL: Tanongsak, Saina set up Warriors win

Saensomboonsuk Tanongsak and Saina Nehwal won the trump matches of the evening to propel Awadhe Warriors to win over Bengaluru Topguns. Warriors recorded its second victory, a 4-1 verdict, while Topguns suffered its third loss.

Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk caused the biggest upset of the day, defeating K. Srikanth.   -  Vivek Bendre

Saina Nehwal, wh has recovered from an injury, was in fine nick defeating Suo Di.   -  Rajeev Bhatt

Saensomboonsuk Tanongsak and Saina Nehwal won the trump matches of the evening to propel Awadhe Warriors to win over Bengaluru Topguns in the Premier Badminton League (PBL) at the BBD Academy Complex here on Wednesday.

Warriors recorded its second victory, a 4-1 verdict, while Topguns suffered its third loss.

Topguns seized momentum by clinching the keenly-fought mixed doubles encounter.

Trailing 1-4, Khim Wah Lim and Ashwini Ponappa collected six consecutive points to go 8-5 up. They maintained their lead amidst some outstanding rallies till Warriors rode on some fantastic net game from K. Maneesha to make it 13-13. However, the host ended up losing the opening game.

Maneesha excelled with her net shots as Warriors took the second game 15-11.

The home team looked all set to win the match when it led 11-7. Nevertheless, Topguns came back to capture four successive points and relied on Ashwini's fine placement to win the 49-minute thriller.

World No. 46 Sameer Verma stunned 34th-ranked Sai Praneeth 15-13, 15-14 in a neck-and-neck contest. After claiming the hard-fought first game, Sameer was down 5-11 in the second. The Madhya Pradesh shuttler set up Sai Praneeth well to close the gap to 11-14 before picking up four points in a row and inflate Topguns' lead.

Tanongsak caused the biggest upset of the evening by outsmarting World No. 9 K. Srikanth 15-11, 15-10 in Topguns' trump match. Tanongsak's victory enabled Warriors to neutralise its rival's lead and make it 1-1.

The 33rd-ranked Thai mixed his shots well and tested Srikanth severely with his excellent net shots.

Playing his second consecutive trump match, Srikanth looked off colour and lost his cool over a line call very early in the match. The Indian ace continued to commit too many errors and squandered the chance to seal the tie for his team.

In Warriors' trump match, the second-ranked Saina erased a five-point deficit by scoring nine on the trot through well-directed drop shots before pocketing the first game 15-10 against lesser-known Thai shuttler Suo Di.

Saina, also playing her second trump match here, dropped the following game before wrapping up the decider without much toil.

Result: Awadhe Warriors bt Bengaluru Topguns 4-1 [Bodin Issara and K. Maneesha lost to Khim Wah Lim and Ashwini Ponappa 13-15, 15-11, 13-15 (0/1); Sai Praneeth lost to Sameer Verma 13-15, 14-15 (0/2); Bengaluru Topguns's trump match: Saensomboonsuk Tanongsak bt K. Srikanth 15-11, 15-10 (1/1); Awadhe Warriors' trump match: Saina Nehwal bt Suo Di 15-10, 13-15, 15-8 (3/1); Bodin Issara and Cai Yun bt Hoon Thien How and Khim Wah Lim 15-12, 15-6 (4/1)]