Lucknow: India’s ace shuttler Saina Nehwal notched up a thrilling three-game win in Awadhe Warriors’ trump match to guide her team to a comfortable win over Bengaluru Top Guns in the Premier Badminton League (PBL) here today.
Mixed doubles pair of Ashwini Ponnappa and Kim Wah Lim and men’s singles player Sameer verma won their respective matches to give Benguluru a 2-0 lead but Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk of Thailand notched up a stunning win over Kidambi Srikanth in a Benguluru’s Trump match to bring Awadhe Warriors back into the contest at 1-1.
World No.2 Saina then defeated Suo Di of Thailand in their trump match to take an unassailable 3-1 lead over Bengaluru Top Guns in the five-match tie.
Starting the proceedings, Ashwini and Kim eked out a thrilling 15-13, 11-15, 15-13 win over Bodin Issara and K Maneesha to start Bengaluru’s campaign on a positive note.
“The match was an absolute thriller and we are happy to win this one. Our opponents came back strongly in the second set and we were trailing in the third set, but we fought brilliantly in the last and opened our account with a win in tonight’s Tie,” Ashwini said after the match.
Sameer then stunned Sai Praneeth 15-13 15-14 in a gruelling men’s singles contest to make it 2-0 in Bengululu’s favour.
In a pulsating contest, Sameer played his heart out and engaged in a gruelling fight as he moved together till 8-7 before Sameer moved into a 12-10 lead. But Praneeth drew level with two points. Sameer then raised his game and moved into game point when Praneeth hit long. Praneeth saved one with an exception cross court smash. But Sameer pocketed it when Praneeth hit out again.
In the second game, Sameer lead 8-4 at the break but Praneeth turned the tables to lead 11-5. However. Sameer bounced back to make it 11-10. Praneeth then curtailed his errors to move to game point at 14-11. Sameer kept fighting to save three game points by varying the pace in the rallies to take the game to the deciding point. At 14-14, Sameer grabbed the match when Praneeth found the nets as Bangalore lead 2-0.