Indian ace shuttlers Ajay Jayaram and Kerala-born H S Prannoy registered impressive wins over more fancied rivals to power Mumbai Rockets to a clean sweep of all five matches and a 6-0 score-line against holders Delhi Acers in the Premier Badminton League.
The home team fired on all cylinders in a clinical display to beat the defending champions at the NSCI Stadium with Ajay providing the early momentum with a shock opening men's singles victory over world no. 2 Jan Jorgensen of Denmark.
The India world no. 19 won the first game of the trump match, for Delhi, in dramatic fashion over extra points at 15-14 before breezing through the second 11-4 in the two players' first-time meeting to give the hosts an early advantage late last night.
While Jayaram's win was huge, Prannoy fought off a nervy Korean world No. 4 Son Wan Ho to hand Mumbai a 2-0 lead. The 11-9, 11-9 win over Son meant that the loud Mumbai crowd saw yet another top-5 player losing. Such was the pressure Prannoy put on Ho that the Korean ended up netting his serve when the home boy was up match point.
The mixed doubles, which was a do or die encounter for Delhi, saw their team of Russian Ivan Sozonov and India's Maneesha K put up a fight, but eventually it was Mumbai's Korean-Polish combine of Lee Young Dae and Nadiezda Zieba who won 11-5, 8-11, 11-9.
Mumbai Rockets then had Ji Hyun Shung win her trump match, downing Delhi's Mumbai-born lass Tanvi Lad 11-6, 11-8. And finally, Lee Young Dae and Nipithphon P carved out a straight game win over Ivan Sozonov/Vladimir Ivanov 11-9, 10-9 to complete the rout.
The fine victory also boosted the Rockets to the second place on the table with a 6-0 points advantage behind Chennai Smashers who yesterday demolished Bengaluru Blasters 5-0 for their first win in two contests.
Results: Mumbai Rockets bt Delhi Acers 6-0 (Ajay Jayaram bt Jan Jorgensen (Trump) 15-14, 11-4; H S Prannoy bt Son Wan Ho 11-9, 11-9; Young Dae Lee/Nadiezda Zieba bt Ivan Sozonov/Maneesha K 11-5, 8-11, 11-9; Ji Hyun Shung (Trump) bt Tanvi Lad 11-6, 11-8; Lee Young Dae/Nipithphon P bt Ivan Sozonov/Vladimir Ivanov 11-9, 10-9).