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PBL4: Sourabh, Kirsty guide Ahmedabad to 4-3 win over Bengaluru

Sourabh Verma And Kristy Gilmour Played Key Roles As Ahmedabad Smash Masters Continued Their Unbeaten Run With A Thrilling 4-3 Win Over Bengaluru Raptors In The Fourth Premier Badminton League (PBL) On Friday.

PTI | Updated on: 28 Dec 2018, 11:53:20 PM
PBL4: Sourabh, Kirsty guide Ahmedabad to 4-3 win over Bengaluru (Twitter)


Sourabh Verma and Kristy Gilmour played key roles as Ahmedabad Smash Masters continued their unbeaten run with a thrilling 4-3 win over Bengaluru Raptors in the fourth Premier Badminton League (PBL) on Friday. Ahmedabad’s Trump pair of Satwiksairaj and Sikki Reddy started the day on a winning note, notching up a 13-15 15-11 15-14 win over Bengaluru’s Marcus Ellis and Lauren Smith to put their team 2-0 up.

The Indians’ impressive fightback in the first game fell short but Sikki’s sublime net-game helped them turn around their fortunes and build a lead of 8-4, which they extended to 15-11 to level the match.

Satwik and Sikki then showed nerves of steel to save a couple of match points in an enthralling decider to get the vital 2 points for the Season 3 semi-finalists.

Russian Open champion Sourabh Verma’s athleticism and speed were instrumental in his pocketing the first game 15-11 over the Raptors’ Sai Praneeth.

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Sourabh continued to show a lot of urgency and purpose in his shots to prevent Sai from executing his deceptive strokes.Midway through the second game, Sai injected aggression into his shots to grab it 15-11 but Verma won the riveting third game on a decider point to push the Smash Masters up 3-0.

Former World No 1 Kidambi Srikanth then had to work hard against the Smash Masters’ Daren Liew whom he trails 0-3 in their head-to-head record on the international circuit.

The Bengaluru skipper exhibited his usual attacking shots to take the one-sided first game 15-9. The change of ends did not help the Indian with the drift troubling the current World No. 8 for most of the second game and he conceded it 15-6.

Srikanth, however, rebounded in style racing ahead to 8-0, he dashed all hopes of a Liew comeback by wrapping it up 15-11.

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Bengaluru always had the advantage in men’s doubles with two-time former world champions Hendra Setiawan and Mohammad Ahsan being in their line-up.

The revered Indonesian pair, Bengaluru’s Trump for the night, repaid the faith that the team had in them with a strong 15-13, 15-9 win over Ahmedabad’s scratch pair of Nandagopal Kidambi and Lee Chun Hei Reginald that levelled the tie score at 3-3.

CWG bronze medallist Kirsty Gilmour completed the roaring comeback for the Smash Masters with a 15-8, 15-13 win over Bengaluru’s Vu Thi Trang to seal the contest 4-3.

Gilmour had to sweat it out in the second game after sailing smoothly in her opening game. The Scot won six points in a row in the second half of the second game to get Ahmedabad’s third win this season.

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First Published : 28 Dec 2018, 11:53:12 PM