Mumbai Rockets defeated Awadhe Warriors 4-3 in the Premier Badminton League in Lucknow to move to second place on the points table, as Indian ace Saina Nehwal secured her second consecutive win of the tournament by defeating Rockets’ Sung Ji Hyun 12-10, 4-11, 11-5.
The tie kicked-off with men's doubles action that saw Lee Yong Dae and Nipitphon Puangpuapech of Rockets take on Markis Kido and V Shem Goh of Warriors. The Rockets pair displayed exemplary skill to win the opening game 11-7. However, Kido and Shem Goh won the next. In the decider, the Rockets pair got the better of the Warriors’ 13-11.
This was followed by the men’s singles clash between Warriors’ Kidambi Srikanth and Rockets’ Ajay Jayaram. Srikanth was aggressive and raced to a 5-2 lead. Jayaram came back strongly to level at 5-5 before Srikanth took one more point to go into the mid-game break at 6-5.
Post break, Srikanth dominated his opponent, winning five consecutive points to seal the game. Gritty Jayaram won the next 15-14 to force the match into the decider that Jayaram won to give the Rockets a 2-0 lead.
Nehwal was in her elements against Sung Ji Hyun. The opening game ran close with the Indian ace slightly ahead and won it 12-10. The Korean came back strongly to win the next game 11-4. Nehwal, known for her big-match capabilities, routed her opponent 11-5 in the decider to maintain her unbeaten run in Lucknow’s Babu Banarasi Das Indoor Stadium.
HS Prannoy won his trump game against Rockets’ Wing Ki Vincent Wong 14-12, 9-11, 11-8 to secure a bonus point for his side.
Warriors’ Bodin Isara and Savitree Amitrapai dominated Nipitphon Puangpuapech and Nadieżda Zieba in the mixed doubles 11-8, 11-4 in their trump match.
Bengaluru Blasters will lock horns with Hyderabad Hunters later today.