Even without the services of its ace shuttler Saina Nehwal due to an ankle injury, Awadhe Warriors started its campaign in the Premier Badminton League III with a facile 4-3 win over defending champion Chennai Smashers at the N.C. Bordoloi Indoor Stadium here on Saturday.

The Lucknow-based team won three of the five matches, including its trump match.

Tang Chun Man and Christinna Pedersen beat World No. 5 British couple, Chris Adcock and Gabrielle Adcock, 10-15, 15-5, 15-12 in the opening mixed doubles encounter.

Awadhe Warriors vs Chennai Smashers: As it happened

The Adcocks defended well and banked on the Awadhe players' unforced errors to go 1-0 up.

However, Tang and Christinna continued with their good placement and took advantage of Chris' errors at the net to equalise.

With both pairs getting into the rhythm, the decider witnessed a few spectacular rallies. The close contest came to an end when Christinna rushed forward to slot the winner.

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In Awadhe's trump match, P. Kashyap outsmarted Daniel Farid 15-12, 15-8 to extend lead to 3-0.

Farid, who was restricted to his delicate net play and swift court coverage, did not have a chance against Kashyap's all-round game.

Kashyap, who trailed 8-5 in the first game, took some time to assess his opponent and unleashed some powerful smashes to leave Farid clueless. Farid's unforced mistakes added to his woes.

Third-ranked K. Srikanth overcame 24th ranked Brice Leverdez's challenge to record a 15-12, 15-13 win.

Srikanth, who wanted to test his fitness in match conditions, showed his smashing and lifting skills to erase Leverdez's early lead and surpass him at 12-13 before pocketing the first game.

In the following game, the Frenchman benefitted from Srikanth's errors to stay 12-7 ahead. Srikanth used his deft touches and super drop shots to close the gap. He went up at 14-13 and took the match when Leverdez netted one.

The remaining two contests, including the women's singles involving P.V. Sindhu, were mere formalities.

 



Tomorrow at Guwahati: North Eastern Warriors vs Hyderabad Hunters 7 p.m.