PBL 2018 | Chennai Smashers ride on mercurial PV Sindhu to edge past Ahmedabad Smash Masters 2-1
On a day when Tai Tzu Ying and HS Prannoy failed to make it count, Ahmedabad got a hero in Sourabh Verma who kept things interesting by beating Chennai’s trump card, Brice Leverdez. However, his heroics went in vain as the mixed pair of Juhl/Reginald went down to Sindhu/Reddy in the decider.
C. Adcock/ Y. Lee vs L.C.H Reginald/ K. Nandagopal
Opening the tie this time, the duo of Nandagopal and Reginald looked under less pressure, as they matched Chennai’s Adcock and Lee shot for shot. Though a momentary lapse in concentration led Chennai to level at 5-5 after Ahmedabad’s initial lead, they went into the break with a narrow 8-7 lead. Smash Masters’ confidence was showing after the break as they got two straight points to lead 10-7 and though Adcock/Lee hinted a comeback at 13-14, Nandagopal won the game point with a terrific smash.
Chennai came back extremely strong in the second game with Ahmedabad having no answer to their powerful smashes and before they could realize, Adcock/Lee were leading 6-2. Though Nandagopal and Reginald showed superb reflexes to return Chennai’s smashes as the game progressed, they could reduce the margin only to 8-5 at the break. Smash Masters, however, continued their momentum after the break as they leveled things at 8-8 before the one-sided game turned competitive with each side
P.V. Sindhu vs T.T. Ying
Though Tai was the obvious
With Tai’s unbeaten record at stake and Sindhu at her clinical best, the second game was absolutely neck-to-neck that saw both the shuttlers besting each other. Sindhu was leading at 5-3 before Tai turned the table to go into the break leading 8-6. Though Sindhu showed flashes of her brilliance after the break, Tai didn’t let her lead go a waste and her persistence led Sindhu to commit errors. Tai
The deciding game saw Sindhu starting on the front foot again as she raced on to lead 4-2 before Tai
B. Leverdez vs S. Verma
With PV Sindhu robbing Ahmedabad off a sure point quite unexpectedly by defeating Tai Tzu, Sourabh Verma had an uphill task on his hands, especially after the disheartening defeat against Parupalli Kashyap last game. And Ahmedabad’s man started the game quite domineeringly against a faltering Brice Leverdez, who was also Chennai’s trump card, winning four straight points before going into the break 8-6. However, the Frenchman was quick to come back by
Sourabh failed to improve in the second game with
The third game saw a more confident Sourabh, who was still faltering though, looked to trust his attack more and Leverdez was finding it difficult to negotiate with his play. However, that didn’t stop the Frenchman from going into the break with a slender 8-7 lead. Sourabh took the game the game to his opponent following the break
T. Soensomboonsuk vs H.S. Prannoy
With Ahmedabad Smash Masters leading 2-0 their trump card, HS Prannoy, had the glorious chance of sealing the tie with one game left. However, the Indian ace started on the back foot with Tanongsak going into the break with an 8-4 lead. Prannoy’s error-prone game continued after the break as he failed to return Tanongsak’s beautiful jump smashes as the Thai shuttler went on to lead 12-8, before winning the game 15-10.
The second game started on a more competitive note that saw no player leaving space for each other with the points getting
The win seemed to give Prannoy all the confidence that he needed and it was showing in his movements. Despite Tanongsak having his moments, Prannoy kept him at an arm’s length, going into the break leading 8-6. Prannoy remained in attack mode after the break but his occasional errors never allowed him to take the game beyond doubt and Tanongsak eventually came back to level things at 14-14 before winning the match with an enthralling rally that lasted 51 shots. HS Prannoy’ 10-match winning finally ended with the
P.V. Sindhu/B.S Reddy vs L.C.H. Reginald/K.R. Juhl
Juhl was joined by her old partner Reginald for the deciding match after things didn’t quite work out in the last game against Awadhe, and it was already having
The second game didn’t see anything different as the pair if Juhl/Reginald played sufficiently well to dominate the game but gave away cheap points repeatedly which helped Sindhu and Reddy to level things at 7-7 before going into the break 8-7. Chennai