New Delhi: In a battle that went down to the wire, Chennai Smashers won the Premier Badminton League Season 2 by a 3-2 margin at the Siri Fort Indoor Stadium here on Saturday.
Tanongsak Saemsom-boonsuk of the Smashers won a pulsating deciding encounter after both sides had cancelled out each other’s trump matches, beating Ajay Jayaram of the Mumbai Rockets by a 9-11, 11-7, 11-3 margin to set off celebrations in their camp before a packed audience.
Chennai were given a flier as their mixed doubles pair of Gabrielle Adcock and Chris Adcock won their trump match against Nipitphon Puangpuapech and Nadiedza Zeiba 11-8, 11-6 to put two points in the kitty.
The Smashers’ lead star P.V. Sindhu then widened the gap to 3-0 with a 11-8, 11-8 win over Sung Ji Hyun of the Rockets, but Mumbai staged a turnaround in the men’s doubles, which was their trump game.
Chris Adcock returned to the court with Mads Pieler Kolding hoping to shut the door on the Rockets but the Smashers’ duo were swept aside 12-10, 11-6 by Nipitphon and Lee Yong Dae to close the gap in one leap to 3-2.
Mumbai’s unbeaten men’s singles star H.S. Prannoy then won his seventh straight match of the league, outpointing Chennai’s Parupalli Kashyap 11-4, 8-11, 11-8 in a thriller to tie scores at three-all. Kashyap fought back strongly from the first set deficit but midway through the decider fell and injured his shoulder, Prannoy cashing in on the chance quickly. It was then left to the second men’s singles to separate winner from runner-up.
Late on Friday night, Mumbai Rockets thrashed the Carolina Marin-led Hyderabad Hunters in the second semifinal. South Korea's Sung Ji Hyun set the tone with a gritty three-set victory over the world number one and Olympic champion 6-11, 11-6, 11-5 and Marin’s defeat appeared to throw Hyderabad off their stride.
Mumbai also took the second trump match, H.S. Prannoy’s three-set win over Sameer Verma in the first men’s singles giving them an unbeatable edge, eliminating the need to play rest of the matches....