Mumbai: Spear-headed by Malaysian world no. 1 Lee Chong Wei who made a successful Indian Badminton League debut, Mumbai Masters defeated Krissh Delhi Smashers at the NSCI stadium courts here on Tuesday 4-1.
Lee, who joined Mumbai after missing the team`s first two away ties, eased his way past his compatriot Daren Liew before All England women`s champion Tine Baun followed suit to provide a flying 2-0 start to Mumbai.
Lee, who missed Mumbai`s first two ties against Banga Beats and Pune Pistons as he joined the team just before this clash, raced away to a 21-12, 21-16 victory over Liew, ranked world no. 17, in 35 minutes to help the hosts take a 1-0 lead.
Tine Baun - who retired from international badminton after winning her third All England title in March and is ranked 11th in the BWF rankings, crushed former national champion Arundhati Pantawane, ranked 54th, by 21-11, 21-13 in just over half an hour to increase Mumbai`s advantage.
Delhi narrowed Mumbai`s lead to 2-1 when their top Malaysian men`s doubles combination of Kon Kiet Keat and Tan Boon Hoeng, world no.4, rallied after dropping the opening game to defeat the young Indian duo of B Sumeet Reddy and Manu Attri 14-21, 21-15, 11-7 in the men`s doubles match.
However, Mumbai`s gamble of fielding European champion Marc Zweibler instead of the successful Russian Vladimir Ivanov came good as the German dropped his opening game against young Indian rival B Sai Praneeth before pulling up his socks to eke out a thrilling 18-21, 21-10, 11-9 win in the second men`s singles clash to give the hosts the winning lead.
It has been a very tough decision for me to make which is why I have given it so much thought since the World Cup.