PBL 2018-19: Sindhu clinches thriller as Hyderabad defeats Ahmedabad

Pune 7 Aces' Lakshya Sen's win over elder brother Chirag paved the way for a commanding 5-0 victory against Delhi Dashers.

P.V. Sindhu defeated Kirsty Gilmour in a thrilling match in the Premier Badminton League.   -  Nagara Gopal

Down by two match points, P.V. Sindhu held her nerves to get past Kirsty Gilmour in three thrilling games for Hyderabad Hunters and drew level in the tie against Ahmedabad Smash Masters (3-3). Bodin Isara and Sa Rang Kim's men’s doubles win clinched the tie 4-3 for Hyderabad Hunters in the Premier Badminton League.

Sindhu showed a  lot of courage to dribble at the net and win a point and then scored through a smash. At 14-14, it could have been anybody’s game, but the Scottish girl, looking careworn and disappointed by the loss of two match points made a feeble return on the net to gift the win to Sindhu.

As it happened

Pune 7 Aces clean out Delhi Dashers

India’s brightest junior Pune 7 Aces player Lakshya Sen defeated elder brother Chirag as he won his team's fifth match and paved the way for it to score a commanding 5-0 victory against Delhi Dashers in the Premier Badminton League at `The Arena by SE TransStadia’ in Ahmedabad on Sunday.

The Asian Junior Champion, Lakshya, did not have it easy though against Chirag. The siblings were engaged in a tussle for most part of the match before Lakshya registered a second win for his side. "We have played each other before. It’s little different, but you cannot help it,’’ said Lakshya, who had beaten Chirag in a junior tournament in Pune a few years ago.

Lakshya  added a point to the big two won by Vladimir Ivanov and Line Kjaersfeldt in their mixed doubles opener which was a trump match. Then, Carolina Marin virtually toyed with Russian Evgeniya Kosetskaya to clinch the tie for the Aces. 

Placed fifth in the league table, Aces picked up another point in the men’s doubles, which was the Dashers' trump match. Despite Delhi Dashers' Tommy Sugiarto won the last men’s singles match in straight games against Brice Leverdez, Aces jumped to the third place in the league with a comprehensive victory.

After the World Junior Championships where he reach the semifinals, Lakshya - counselled by his coach and father - decided to end his junior career and focus on seniors from the Senior Nationals in Guwahati.

"As a junior I am getting opportunities to play with the seniors in this league. I have no fear of losing. It’s a new experience for me playing such matches; these are pressure matches which will give me the required experience and confidence to play the senior circuit. It will take time to perform in the seniors. I will be playing a lot of senior tournaments this year; the BWF lower levels and if a get a chance in the Super Series,’’ said Lakshya.

The results

Ahmedabad Smash Masters 3 lost to Hyderabad Hunters 4:

Satwiksairaj Reddy and Sikki Reddy lost to Bodin Isara and Eom Hye Won 14-15, 9-15

Daren Liewn (T) bt Rahul Yadav 15-13, 15-9

Viktor Axelsen bt Mark Caljouw 15-11, 13-15, 15-8

Kirsty Gilmour lost to (T) P.V.Sindhu 14-15, 15-12, 14-15

Satwiksairaj Reddy and Chun Hei Lee lost to Bodin Isara and Kim Sa Rang 10-15, 15-11, 14-15

Pune 7 Aces bt Delhi Dashers 5-0

Vladimir Ivanov and Line Kjaersfeldt (T) bt Jongjit Maneepong and Evgeniya Kosetskaya 15-9, 14-15, 15-8

Lakshya Sen bt Chirag Sen 15-12, 15-11

Carolina Marin bt Evgeniya Kosetskaya 15-5, 15-6

Boe Mathias and Chirag Shetty bt Chai Biao and Jongjit Maneepong  (T) 9-15, 15-10, 15-13

Brice Leverdez lost to Tommy Sugiarto 7-15,14-15