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Matches - PBL 2017

Rockets win 2-1 in a cliffhanger against the Hunters

  • January 04, 2017
  • PBL Media Team
Rockets win 2-1 in a cliffhanger against the Hunters

Mumbai Rockets held their nerves to snatch a win in a topsy-turvy tie against Hyderabad Hunters, edging them 2-1 in front of their home fans in Mumbai in a match that saw both teams losing their Trumps.

Match 1: Lee Yong Dae/Nipithphon P (MUM) vs Tan Boon Heong/Tan Wee Kiong (HYD)

The first match of the evening saw the men’s doubles taking place as the team of Lee Yong and Nipithphon P of home team Mumbai taking on the two Tans of the Hunters.

The home team took to the match by storm as the team of Lee and Nipithphon strolled to a 6-2 lead at the half in the first game. The Tans made a strong return after the half, but Lee and Nipithphon were too strong in the end as they took the first game 11-9. The Mumbai duo started off from where they left in the second game, taking a commanding 6-1 lead into the break. They were their usual relentless self after the half as they took the second game 11-6, and sealed a comfortable straight-set victory, and putting the first point on the board for Mumbai.

Result: Lee/Nipithphon (MUM) beat Tan/Tan 11-9 11-6

Match 2: Sung Ji Hyun (MUM) vs Carolina Marin (HYD)

World number two Marin came into the match as favourite as she held an overwhelming 6-1 record over third-ranked Hyun.

The match started with both players slugging it out as Hyun took a slender 6-5 lead to the break. Marin's defensive skills did stand out but Hyun used her repertoire of strokes brilliantly to take the first game 11-7. The former world number one did go down 0-2 in the second before wheeling off six straight points to take the lead by the break.

Marin seemed to have moved up a gear or two as her shot placement and court coverage improved significantly to notch the second game 11-7 in her favour. The deciding third game saw both players ramping it up as the crowd began to get involved more. Marin led 6-4 at the break but Hyun was in no mood to relent. With game evenly poised at 9-9, a 28-shot rally ensued which Marin ended with a body smash to take match point. But, she had an error in the next point to squander the advantage. With Hyun edging to a 13-12 lead, a long, fascinating rally ensued which ended with another error from Marin leaving the Korean relieved and the Mumbai Rockets jubilant.

Result: Sung Ji-Hyun (MUM) beat Carolina Marin (HYD) 11-7, 7-11, 14-12

Match 3: Ajay Jayaram (MUM) vs Rajiv Ouseph (HYD)

The third match witnessed a showdown between Rockets’ Ajay Jayaram, who was fresh from his impressive victory against world number three Jan O Jorgensen and Hunters’ Rajiv Ouseph in the first men’s singles of the evening.

The two players went toe-to-toe in the first game and there was not much to choose between them. However, it was Ouseph who took a 6-5 lead into the break and some costly errors by Jayaram after the half handed Ouseph the first game at 11-7. Jayaram, though slowly grew into the game and took the lead in the first half of the second game at 6-4. However, Ouseph played some strong, smart badminton to oust Jayaram in the second game as well by virtue of a 11-8 score line and with that, took the match and handed Hyderabad their first point of the night.

Result: Rajiv Ouseph (HYD) beat Ajay Jayaram (MUM) 11-7 11-8

Match 4: Match 4: NadiezdaZieba/Lee Yong Dae (MUM) vs Chau Hoi Wah/Satwik Sai Raj (HYD)

The fourth match of the evening saw the first of the Trump matches. It was the Mumbai Rockets first up as they had NadiezdaZieba and Lee Yong Dae squaring up against Chau Hoi Wah and Satwik Sai Raj.

The Mumbai duo expectedly took the lead 6-2 by the break and it looked like they would run away from the game. It wasn’t an easy ride after that by any chance for the home team as the Hunters made a rollicking comeback. It was 16-year-old Satwik who was at the forefront of Hyderabad’s fightback as he hit some thunderous shots against his more experienced opponents. Dae and Zieba were unable to convert their match point as Satwik and Wah levelled the game at 11-all. Eventually, Zieba hit a winner to stop further hiccups and win the first game 13-11.

The second was evenly fought between the two sides as Hyderabad surprisingly took a slender lead at the break at 6-5. The Rockets duo were clearly rattled by Satwik’s power as they made some uncharacteristic errors leading to the Hunters’ taking the second set 12-10 in stunning fashion.

The team of Wah and Satwik had momentum on their side as they used it to open a 6-3 lead at the break. They led 9-5 looking good for an upset before Mumbai pulled it back to 8-9. The Hunters had two match points after winning a 28-shot rally. Dae fought back one point with a 357 km/hr smash and then tied the score with a crafty body serve to Wah. The lead went back and forth between the teams before the visitors pulled off a pulsating win at 15-14 to change the whole complexion of the tie as Hyderabad now led 2-1 after this stunning upset.

Result: Chau Hoi Wah/Satwik Sai Raj (HYD) beat NadiezdaZieba/Lee Yong Dae (MUM) 11-13, 12-10, 15-14

Match 5: H S Prannoy (MUM) vs Sameer Verma (HYD)

The final match of the evening was a Trump for Hyderabad as the second men’s single involving Rockets’ H S Prannoy and Sameer Verma of the Hunters got under way.

Verma started the game strongly winning the first five points to breeze into a 5-0 lead and ultimately went into the break in the first game leading 6-3. But Prannoybegan exerting his dominance in the match and played some strong shots to easily overturn the deficit and take the first game 11-6. The players went toe-to-toe in the second game but Verma had the edge at the half, taking a 6-5 lead. However, Prannoy made a strong comeback after the break, and played brilliant badminton all over the court to get three match points at 10-7 and clinched the game 11-7 and with that, the match. The result meant that Mumbai overturned their deficit to win the tie 2-1.

Result: H S Prannoy (MUM) beat Sameer Verma (HYD) 11-6 11-7

Match Result: Mumbai Rockets beat Hyderabad Hunters 2-1