PBL 2018-19: Sindhu wins as Hyderabad Hunters romps home against Pune 7 Aces

P.V. Sindhu overcame arch-rival Carolina Marin while Mark Caljouw subdued youngster Lakshya Sen.

Mark Caljouw subdued youngster Lakshya Sen in the opening singles tie at the NSCI indoor stadium.   -  special arrangement

Hyderabad Hunters asserted itself against Pune 7 Aces by winning the men’s singles and doubles encounter on the opening day of the fourth Premier Badminton League’s first leg.

Mark Caljouw steadied himself at the right time to subdue youngster Lakshya Sen in the opening singles tie at the NSCI indoor stadium.

The defending champion, captained by P.V. Sindhu, gained a boost when the doubles pairing of Bodin Isara & Kim Sa Rang took the Pune duo of Mathias Boe & Chirag Shetty in stride. The verdict meant the loss of Pune’s Trump Match.

As it happened| PBL 2018-19 : Pune 7 Aces vs Hyderabad Hunters

Hyderabad went on to win the second men’s singles, a Trump Match. Lee Hyun Li beat Bruce Leverdez in straight games, resulting in a four-point lead (4-(-1).

Bodin and Rang displayed anticipation and reflexes of a high order. Lee Hyun moved effortlessly on the court and watching them were young Indians, Sen and Shetty.

Sindhu downs Marin

Three wins in a row for Hyderabad pushed the contest between Sindhu and Carolina Marin into a sideshow. The Spaniard showed spunk and smashed with power to catch her rival off guard.

After wrapping up the first game, Marin used the cushion to recover in the second game and waded into battle in the decider.

Sindhu played the waiting game to the full, kept pace with her rival from 8-8 onwards to win 11-15, 15-8, 15-13, swelling the lead.

Sen went down fighting in the opening men’s singles which went the distance. The 18-year-old started off in controlled fashion, playing within himself while sizing up the rival.

Caljouw upped the pace of rallies in the second game, winning it to take the tie into the decider.

With both players striking up a rhythm, the rallies lengthened, keeping the team fans and crowd entertained. Sen slipped into the flow displayed in the first game, regained earlier confidence to set up points as the Dutch player felt the heat.

The Dutch player tightened up his strokes and cut down on errors to gradually move ahead and take the match away from his rival.

Double-header

The double-header on day two will pit Mumbai Rockeys (led by Lee Yong Dae) against Delhi Dashers (captained by H S Prannoy). The next game is a potential thriller involving Ahmedabad Smash Masters (Viktor Axelsen) against North Eastern Warriors (Saina Nehwal). The Mumbai leg concludes on Monday.

The results: MS: Mark Caljow (Hyderabad Hunters) bt Lakshya Sen (Pune 7 Acers) 10-15, 15-12, 15-14 MD: Boon Isara & Kim Sa Rang (Hyd) bt Mathias Boe & Chirag Shetty (Pun) 13-15, 15-10, 15 -13. MS: Lee Hyun Il (Hyd) bt Bruce Leverdez (Pun) 15-14, 15-13. WS: P V Sindhu (hyd) bt Carolina Marin (Pun) 11-15, 15-8, 15-13. MD: Kim Sa Rang & Eom Hye Won (Hyd) bt Vladimir Ivanov & Line Kjaersfeldt 15-14, 15-11

Points: Hyderabad 6 vs Pune -1.