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Jayaram stuns Axelsen as Rockets blow away Blasters

  • January 08, 2017
  • PBL Media Team
Jayaram stuns Axelsen as Rockets blow away Blasters

The second encounter of the evening saw a wounded Bengaluru Blasters host an in-form Mumbai Rockets in must-win tie for the home team.

Match 1: Sourabh Verma (BEN) vs HS Prannoy (MUM)

The first match of the evening saw the first men’s singles of the night being played as Bengaluru’s Sourabh Verma took on Mumbai’s HS Prannoy.

Sourabh Verma started the first game strongly as he did not allow any breathing space for Prannoy, storming into a 6-1 lead at the break. He was as relentless after the break, playing well near the net to take the first game at 11-4. Prannoy however, came back strongly into the second game and played some powerful shots to take a 6-3 lead into the half. He breezed away after the break, playing some strong smashes and taking the second game 11-6 to level things up in the match. He stamped his authority in the deciding game, putting on a dominating performance to take a 6-0 lead at the break. He simply stormed away after the break as he completed a powerful come back, taking the deciding game 11-3 and handing Mumbai the first point of the night.

Result: HS Prannoy beat Sourabh Verma 4-11 11-6 11-3

Match 2: Ko Sung-Hyun/Yoo Yeon Seong (BLR) vs Lee Yong Dae/Nipithphon P (MUM)

The next match was the men’s doubles with Blasters’ Ko Sung-Hyun and Yoo Yeon Seong taking on Lee Yong Dae (Seong’s regular partner) and Nipithphon P of the Rockets. Bengaluru’s Korean pair started superbly to race to a 6-1 lead by the break. But, Mumbai’s Thai-Korean combination found their rhythm after the break but were unable to stop the home team from taking the first game 11-7.

Dae and Nipithphon looked more determined after the break as this time, it was their turn to lead at the interval by a 6-4 margin. Then came a sequence of some long, fierce rallies which drew gasps from the crowd and in the end, it was the Mumbai duo who came back to take the second game 11-7. The third game was reminiscent of heavyweight boxers trading blows as Hyun and Seong led 6-4 at the break. The Bengaluru duo’s magnificent defence stood out and proved to be the difference as they took the decider 11-5 to level the tie.

Result: Ko Sung-Hyun/Yoo Yeon Seong (BLR) beat Lee Yong Dae/Nipithphon P (MUM) 11-7, 7-11, 11-5

Match 3: Viktor Axelsen (BLR) vs Ajay Jayaram (MUM)

Bengaluru took the first Trump of the tie with the super Dane Viktor Axelsen taking on Ajay Jayaram. It was the Mumbai lad though, who started on the front foot to zoom to a 4-0 and then 6-2 lead at the interval. Jayaram used the bright start to his advantage as he won the first game 11-8 to leave Axelsen fuming.

The Blasters’ marquee looked like a man possessed as he came out firing in the second game to power to a 5-1 lead. But an unfazed Jayaram came storming back to lead 6-5 by the interval, much to the surprise of the home crowd. The 29-year-old continued to make a mockery of the world rankings in the tournament as he floored the world number three in straight games as Bengaluru trailed 0-2 owing to the negative point received for losing their Trump match.

Result: Ajay Jayaram (MUM) beat Viktor Axelsen (BLR) 11-8, 11-9

Match 4: Cheung Ngan Yi (BLR) vs Sung Ji-Hyun (MUM)

It was the Mumbai Rockets’ turn to take their Trump match as they decided to field Sung Ji-Hyun against Bengaluru’s Cheung Ngan Yi. Hyun blitzed her way to a 6-1 lead at the break and waded through a momentary fightback from Yi to take the first game 11-7.

Yi fought hard in the second game with the tie at stake as she was given the runaround by Hyun and trailed 5-6 at the interval. Yi gave everything she had as the higher-ranked Hyun even had her sprawled on the court on a couple of instances. Her fight was creditworthy but wasn’t enough to get the better of the Rockets’ player, going down 8-11 as the visitors gained an unconquerable 4-0 lead going into the final game.

Match 5: Sikki Reddy/Ko Sung-Hyun (BLR) vs Nadiezda Zieba/Nipitphon P (MUM)

The final match of the evening was the mixed doubles match, the outcome of which had little bearing with the tie already in the bag for the Mumbai Rockets. Reddy and Hyun dominated from the outset as they led 6-3 at the break and comfortably took the first game 11-6.

The Bengaluru duo continued from where they left off to breeze to a 6-1 lead and ended up winning the match 11-7 to grant the home team a consolation point. It was tough especially for Ko Sung-Hyun, who ended up with only one point to show despite winning two matches.

Result: Sikki Reddy/Ko Sung-Hyun (BLR) vs Nadiezda Zieba/Nipitphon P (MUM)

Match Result: Mumbai Rockets beat Bengaluru Blasters 4-1