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Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Premier Badminton League: Satwik, Lakshya shine as Chennai Superstarz win opener, Sindhu sizzles

Chennai Superstarz opened their campaign in the fifth season of Premier Badminton League with a dominant 5-2 win over Hyderabad Hunters on Monday.

By: PTI | Chennai | Published: January 21, 2020 10:10:07 am
Satwik and Sumeeth Reddy seal the deal for Superstarz

Chennai Superstarz opened their campaign in the fifth season of Premier Badminton League with a dominant 5-2 win over Hyderabad Hunters on Monday.

The home team was 4-0 up before world champion PV Sindhu hammered the young Gayatri Gopichand 15-5, 15-5 to notch two points for the Hunters.

Singles victories by Tommy Sugiarto and the promising Lakshya Sen, apart from the mixed doubles win by Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Jessica Pugh, ensured the Chennai Superstarz start the season on a rousing note.

Appearing in Chennai’s yellow jersey for the first time, the 19-year-old Satwik impressed with his aggressive brand of badminton in partnership with Jessica Pugh against Hyderabad’s pair of Sikki Reddy and Vladimir Ivanov, and won 15-6 13-15 15-13.

The World No. 11 was at the top of his game against his previous team as the home pair cruised to a 15-6 lead.

Sikki and Ivanov, both PBL veterans, knew the right moment to lift their games and levelled the encounter at one game apiece in a thrilling opener.

While they had control in the initial stages of the decider and led 8-4, it needed a spark from Thailand Open champion Rankireddy to get themselves back into contention at 12-12.

The Hunters duo was able to save one match point before Rankireddy and Pugh wrapped it up 15-6 13-15 15-13 in front of a roaring home crowd that witnessed a celebratory dance from Rankireddy.

With a polished performance, former world championships bronze medallist Sugiarto put Chennai Superstarz in command with a 15-11 15-10 win over Sourabh Verma.

Hyderabad’s Priyanshu Rajawat made a debut to remember against Chennai’s Lakshya, though in a losing cause.

Rajawat’s brilliant anticipation skills and his backhand returns put the World No. 30 in a spot of bother as he stormed back to take the second game after losing the first.

In a breathtaking final game that had the entire stadium on the edge, Sen won a dramatic deciding point after the two were locked at 14-14 to gift the 15-6 13-15 15-14 win to the hosts.

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