Chennai Smashers beat Mumbai Rockets for first win of PBL-3

Defending champions Chennai Smashers clinched their maiden win of the third season of the Premier Badminton League (PBL) after beating Mumbai Rockets 4-3 in the opener of the Delhi leg of Rs 6 crore PBL at the Siri Fort Sports Complex here on Wednesday.

IANS| Updated: Dec 28, 2017, 09:18 AM IST
Chennai Smashers beat Mumbai Rockets for first win of PBL-3
PV Sindhu (Image: Twitter)

New Delhi: Defending champions Chennai Smashers clinched their maiden win of the third season of the Premier Badminton League (PBL) after beating Mumbai Rockets 4-3 in the opener of the Delhi leg of Rs 6 crore PBL at the Siri Fort Sports Complex here on Wednesday.

The pendulum swung both ways in the evening with Mumbai taking an early lead before Chennai won two back-to-back games to get back into the lead. 

Mumbai then won their trump match to go ahead but Chennai fought back well to pocket their trump match and the contest as well.

Trailing 2-3 after the initial four ties, Chennai had their hopes pinned on the English couple of Chris and Gabrielle Adcock, who beat Mumbai combo of Gabriela Stoeva and MR Arjun 15-9, 13-15, 15-9 to bag two crucial points in their trump match.

Earlier, Mumbai trusted Son Wan-Ho for their trump match and the South Korean responded in style by thrashing Thailand's Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk in straight games - 15-11, 15-5.

There was no stopping the Korean, who cruised to an 8-2 lead in the opening game before finishing it off in style.

The second game also witnessed complete domination from Son, who ran away with an 8-3 lead at the break before coming back to thrash the Thai shuttler and earn Mumbai two important points.

In the third match of the evening, PV Sindhu came from behind to beat Chinese-American Beiwen Zhang 12-15, 15-7, 15-9 and give Chennai Smashers a 2-1 lead.

Beiwen pocketed the opening women's singles game quite comfortably before the Rio Olympics silver medallist pulled up her socks to win the second game and take the contest to the decider.

Heading into the break in first match of the decider, Beiwen led narrowly at 8-7 but failed to increase the gap, thanks to a number of unforced errors even as Sindhu kept her nerves to win it handsomely.

Before that, the men's singles match between Brice Leverdez and Sameer Verma went down to the wire even as the World No. 24 Frenchman edged past to help Chennai draw level.

Both Leverdez and Verma went neck and neck in the opening game even as the latter took a slim 8-6 lead at the break.

Coming back, the Chennai Smashers's shuttler clawed his way back to take the game with a golden point after being squared at 14-14.

In the second game, Leverdez bounced back from being 3-7 down to collect four successive points before World No. 30 Verma picked up one point at the breather with a slender 8-7 lead. 

Verma then came back brilliantly to pocket the second game and take the match to the decider.

The third game swung both ways until Leverdez pipped the Indian 8-6 at the break but Verma came back strongly with some exquisite smashes to draw level at 14-14, but it was heartbreak for the Indian at the end.

Earlier, Mumbai took an early 1-0 lead winning the men's doubles encounter, with the South Korean-Malaysia duo of Lee Yong Dae and Tan Boon Heong prevailing in straight games 15-9, 15-6 over the Chennai combo of B Sumeeth Reddy and Lee Yang.

On Thursday, hosts Delhi Dashers will aim for their first win of the season when they take on Bengaluru Blasters here.