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Smashers ‘Trump’ Warriors to enter final

  • January 13, 2017
  • PBL Media Team
Smashers ‘Trump’ Warriors to enter final

Chennai Smashers booked their place in the final of PBL 2017 as they overcame Awadhe Warriors 4-1 in a tense first semi-final at Delhi.

Match 1: Savitree Amitrapai/Bodin Issara (AWD) vs Gabrielle Adcock/Chris Adcock (CHE)

The semi-finals started off with the mixed doubles encounter as Awadhe’s team of Savitree Amitrapai and Bodin Issara took on Chennai’s team of Chris and Gabrielle Adcock. Both pairs were unbeaten in the tournament and only one pair was going to remain so.

Savitree and Issara started off the brighter of the two as they calmly went into a 6-5 lead over the husband-wife pair. The Adcocks though, soon overturned the deficit and showed sizzling chemistry on court to take the first game 11-9. Savitree and Issara however, showed they were no pushovers as they started off the second game with a bang, forcing the Adcocks into errors and taking a healthy 6-2 lead into the break. They then showed nerves of steel to ward off a potential fightback from the Adcocks to take the second game 11-8. Savitree and Issara then took the momentum with them into the deciding set and won a 63-shot rally as well en-route to a 6-2 lead at the half. They did not allow any opportunities to the Adcocks after that and Issara with some strong smashes and Savitree with the excellent net play, completely dominated their opponents to clinch the decider 11-6, handing Awadhe the first point of the evening.

Result: Amitrapai/Issara (AWD) beat G. Adcock/C. Adcock (CHE) 9-11, 11-8, 11-6

Match 2: Vincent Wong Wing Ki (AWD) vs Parupalli Kashyap (CHE)

Match 2 of the evening witnessed the first men’s single of the tie as Vincent Wong Wing Ki of Awadhe squared off against P. Kashyap of Chennai.

It was a nervy start for both as the first three points came from errors, but Kashyap showed more intensity and played some strong shots to take a 6-2 lead into the break. He then completely took control over the game and did not allow Vincent with any breathing space as he won the game with a convincing 11-4 margin. Kashyap did not show any signs of slowing down and dictated play in the second game, once again easing into a 6-2 lead at the interval. He then finished things off with coolness and composure, not making many errors and winning the crucial points to take the second game 11-6 and level the tie at 1-1.

Result: P. Kashyap (CHE) beat Vincent Wong Wing Ki (AWD) 11-4, 11-6

Match 3: Kidambi Srikanth (AWD) vs Tommy Sugiarto (CHE)

The third match of the semi-finals saw the second men’s singles of the evening as Awadhe’s K. Srikanth took on Chennai’s Tommy Sugiarto.

The players went toe-to-toe, with neither allowing the other to run away with any significant lead, but it was Sugiarto who had a 6-5 advantage in the break at the half. There was really not much to choose between the two in this hugely important match and Sugiarto saved two game points, while Srikanth saved one before the latter took the game 14-12. Sugiarto though, turned on the heat in the second game and had Srikanth chasing the game all the while as he took a 6-1 lead into the break. However, Srikanth staged an extraordinary comeback and absolutely trounced his opponent, winning consecutive points to completely change the complexion of the game, winning it 11-7. That straight set victory for Srikanth gave Awadhe a crucial 2-1 lead in the match.

Result: Kidambi Srikanth (AWD) beat Tommy Sugiarto (CHE) 14-12, 11-7

Match 4: Saina Nehwal (AWD) PV Sindhu (CHE)

The fourth match was the most anticipated match of the whole tournament as it involved the blockbuster encounter between the two icons of Indian badminton. It was the women’s singles of the evening as Awadhe’s Saina Nehwal faced off against PV Sindhu. Surprisingly, Chennai applied their Trump on this match.

There was very little to choose between the two as both played cautiously, carefully avoiding errors, but it was Saina who took a slight 6-5 advantage into the break in the first game. However, Sindhu underlined her class as she soon overturned the deficit and played some intelligent drop shots combined with strong smashes to take the first game 11-7. Sindhu started the second game on the front foot as she took a 6-3 lead into the break. She then took the game by storm using both deft and powerful shots to good effect as she wrapped up the game 11-8. Both players showed tremendous stamina in the game and it included a spectacular rally of 48 points, which was eventually won by Sindhu. The marquee player for the Smashers won the encounter in straight sets, handing Chennai the lead for the first time in the tie as a result of a 3-2 score line which gave her team a glimmer of hope.

Result: P V Sindhu (CHE) beat Saina Nehwal (AWD) 11-7, 11-8

Match 5: Goh W Shem/Markis Kido (AWD) vs Chris Adcock/Mads Pieler Kolding (CHE)

The final match of the semi-finals was the decider as it witnessed the men’s doubles match between Goh W Shem and Markis Kido of Awadhe and Chris Adcock and Mads Kolding of Chennai. Awadhe called for a Trump in this match and it was, literally, winner takes all.

Adcock and Kolding made a flying start to the game as they played some exquisite shots and showed good on-court chemistry to take an unbelievable 6-0 lead at the half. They were as dominant in the second half as they lost just three points to take the first game with an 11-3 margin and make a strong statement. It was much for harder in the second game as Shem and Kido got back their much-needed chemistry to take a narrow 6-5 lead at the break. However, there was no stopping Adcock and Kolding as they got their own mojo back and with the help of some big smashes from Kolding, clinched the game 12-10, and with that, clinched the tie to book their place in the final courtesy of a 4-1 scoreline.

Result: Adcock/Kolding (CHE) beat Shem/Kido (AWD) 11-3, 12-10

Match Result: Chennai Smashers beat Awadhe Warriors 4-1