Zee Media Bureau/Chaitan Papnai and Suyash Srivastava
Mumbai: Hyderabad Hotshots defeated Awadhe Warriors 3-1 in the final of the Indian Badminton League played at the Sardar Patel Stadium in Mumbai.
Saina Nehwal once again inspired her players as Hyderabad fought hard to defeat Awadhe Warriors.
Ajay Jayaram, one of the pillars for Hyderabad in the tournament, made a spectacular comeback in his men’s singles match against Guru Sai Dutt to help his team win the tie on a best of five basis.
Match 4, men’s singles: Ajay Jayaram vs Guru Sai Dutt
Result: Ajay Jayaram won 10-21, 21-17, 11-7.
The match was a closely fought contest between the two players who have been the highlight of this tournament. Ajay Jayaram was the favourite ahead of the match but Guru Sai Dutt stunned everybody by winning the first game and then dominating for the most part of the second before Jayaram bounced back to win the second game. Guru was leading 16-12 in the second game and Jayaram was finding it difficult to find his rhythm, but one he did, it was he who dominated. Jayaram was leading 6-5 in the decider and he went on to win the final game 11-7.
Guru who wasn’t well ahead of the match put up a brave fight against in-form Ajay Jayaram who was favourite to win the match.
Match 3, men’s doubles: Mathias Boe and Markis Kido vs Shem Goh and Khim Wah Lim
Result: Shem Goh and Khim Wah Lim won 21-14 13-21 11-4.
Hyderabad Hotshots’ men’s doubles pair of Shem Goh and Khim Wah Lim defeated Awadhe’s Mathias Boe and Markis Kido 21-14 13-21 11-4.
The men’s doubles match proved to be the turning point of the tie as Boe and Kido were the favourite to win the match but that was not to be and they gave Hyderabad a lead of 2-1 after which Jayaram finished off things in style.
Match 2, women’s singles: Saina Nehwal vs PV Sindhu
Result: Saina beats Sindhu 21-15, 21-7
Game2: Saina wins it 21-7
Now the entire pressure would be on Sindhu, as she has to win this game to take the match to third game. Unforced errors are still coming from the Sindhu as she gifted the first three points to Saina 3-0. At the moment Saina has the crucial lead of six points. Before going for the first break the score line is 7-1. Sindhu is not at all playing her natural game. Sindhu is quite predictable at the moment. She still has to learn a lot. Saina is still maintaining her good lead of seven points as the score line is 11-4. Once can see the pressure on Sindhu’s face. And before going for the second break Saina is leading as the score line is 14-6. Sindhu has been outplayed by the Olympic medalist Saina and with a cross court drop shot Saina beat Sindhu without a sweat 21-7. And with this win Warriors equaled the tie 1-1.
Game 1: Saina wins it 21-15
Now the match of the day is about to start in few seconds. With a smash Saina gets the first point. But with a powerful smash Sindhu gets the revenge. Saina is quite composed and forcing her opponent to stretch. And before going for the first break Saina is leading 7-3. Sindhu’s mother has also watching the match from the stands, who herself was a good shuttler at her time. Sindhu is making a comeback in the game as from trailing 8-3 she reaches 8-7 in this game. Saina is also playing an aggressive game and is at a driving seat too with a lead of five points as the score is 13-8. And before going for the second break Saina is leading 14-9. First three points to Sindhu after coming back from the 2nd break 14-12, still in Saina’s favour. Mentally Saina is looking quite strong but Sindhu is a bit nervous at the moment as the score line reaches 20-13 in Saina’s favour. And the first game goes to Saina 21-15.
Match 1, men’s singles: K Srikanth vs S Tanongsak
Result: K Srikanth beat S Tanongsak 21-12, 21-20
Game 2: Srikanth wins it 21-20
After winning the first set Srikanth is high on confidence. Whereas Tanongsak, who is still unbeaten in this League is under immense pressure. Before going for the first break in this set Srikanth is leading with four points as the score line is 7-3. Former Indian cricketer Sanjay Manjrekar has also come to the stadium with his family to watch the finals. Srikanath is showing excellent skills on the court as he is leading the second set 13-7. He has the lead of six crucial points. And before going for the second break Srikanth is leading 14-8. Unforced errors by Tanongsak are signs of nervousness. But now Tanongsak is coming back into the game with some powerful smashes to make the score line 15-13, though still in Sriknath’s favour. Tanongsak is still showing signs of mental toughness. Now the score is equal on 17. Amazing comeback by Tanongsak of Hyderabad Hotshots. Srikanth is now feeling the pressure as Tanongsak managed to lead the game for the very time 19-18. But Srikanth equal the score with a power pact smash 19-19. And the game has reached at best its 20 all. And with another point Srikanth won the game 21-20 and the first match as well. So Awadhe Warriors is up 1-0 in the tie.
Game 1:Srikanth wins it 21-12
Srikanth is giving a tough fight to Tanongsak. In fact in the first set Srikanth is leading the game 7-5. While going for the second break Srikanth is still leading the game 14-10. Srikanth is using his smashes with good effect. And even when it comes to net play he has outsmarted is opponent so far. And Srikanth wins the first game 21-12.
Nobody expected the IBL to be such a smash hit but it has been a major success and the crowd has turned up in large numbers to cheer their favourite players.
All eyes would once again be on the second match of the day, the women’s singles final between Saina Nehwal and PV Sindhu. Saina, the icon player of Hyderabad franchise has been outstanding right through the tournament where she hasn’t lost a match. In their previous meeting, Saina had thrashed Sindhu 21-9, 21-8. While Sindhu would be keen to seek some revenge, Saina would want to prove herself once again as a world class player by lifting the trophy.
In the men’s singles, both the teams have some promising players who can entertain the crowd with their competitive play. Ajay Jayaram has been one of the most consistent players for Hyderabad Hotshots. Awadhe Warriors on the other hand have 20-year-old K Srikanth who is certainly a player to watch out for in the future.
In the doubles section, Awadhe Warriors player Markis Kido will once again play a significant role. Kido, who plays in both men’s doubles and mixed doubles, has been one of the highlights of the Indian Badminton League. Markis Kido won the decider against Mumbai Masters pairing with his sister Pia Bernadet against a formidable Russian pair of Vladimir Ivanov and Tine Baun.
With are up for another tough clash with the Danish-Indonesian pair of Mathias Boe and Markis Kido for Warriors’ lined up against the Malaysian duo of Shem Goh and Khim Wah Lim, the world’s no.16 pair, for Hotshots in the men’s doubles contest.