Hyderabad, Jan 11 (IANS) The Mumbai Rockets achieved a brilliant come-from-behind victory to beat hosts Hyderabad Hunters 4-1 to solidify their position in the points table of the Premier Badminton League (PBL) at the Gachibowli Indoor Stadium here on Monday. This is the Rockets’ third win in four outings to give themselves a very strong chance of entering the semi-finals of the six-team tournament.
The Hunters, on the other hand, have played all their five ties, winning only one and losing four to stay in the fifth position in the standings. The Jwala Gutta led side is more or less out of contention for the knockouts but it will finally be clear on Wednesday when the league phase ends. The Hunters got off to a good start with women’s singles specialist Supanida Katethong beating Liu Zi Die 13-15, 15-14, 15-14 to give the hosts a 1-0 lead.
“The match was an absolute screamer! The scoreline explains everything. I am relieved to have won the first match. I lost the first game but I spoke to my teammates during the break and it was a real booster for me,” said Supanida. “I am sure this match will go down as one of the best of PBL. I congratulate Liu on being part of this amazing match.” Men’s doubles pair of Carsten Mogensen and Markis Kido made it 2-0 for the Hunters when they beat Vladimir Ivanov and Chayut Triyachart 15-7, 15-14. However, it was H.S. Prannoy who turned the tables in the tie when he beat senior and reigning Commonwealth Games men’s singles champion Parupalli Kashyap in straight games.
The Hunters had put their Trump on Kashyap but the 29-year-old went down 11-15, 13-15 to lose his fourth consecutive match of PBL. Prannoy’s victory opened the account for the Rockets and deducted a point off the Hunters as they lost their Trump Match. The scoreline at this point read 1-1. “It was a very important match for us as we had already lost the first two matches. I am happy to have opened our team’s account. This was a Trump Match for them but we managed to snatch a victory,” said Prannoy.
R.M.V. Gurusaidutt gave the visitors a 3-1 lead by defeating junior World No.1 Siril Verma 15-12, 15-4 in the second men’s singles competition. This was Gurusaidutt’s Trump Match for the Rockets and he did not disappoint. “I am pretty satisfied with the result. He played brilliantly and made me rethink on how to tackle him. This win also marks our victory in the tie. Siril is a very talented youngster. I wish Siril good luck for his future,” said Gurusaidutt. The Rockets also clinched the final mixed doubles match when Vladimir Ivanov and Kamilla Rytter Juhl beat Kido and Jwala Gutta 15-8, 15-8 to give the visitors a 4-1 victory.