Guwahati: Awadhe Warriors sans Saina Nehwal shocked defending champions Chennai Smashers by taking a 4-3 lead on the first day in the third edition of the Premier Badminton League on Saturday.
In the absence of their star player Saina Nehwal who pulled out at the last minute due to injury, Awadhe took an unassailable 3-0 lead in the five-match competition courtesy victories in the men’s singles and mixed doubles categories at the Karmabir Nabin Chandra Bordoloi Indoor Stadium.
Parupalli Kashyap took the Warriors off to a flying start as he won his singles competition against Daniel S Farid 15-12, 15-8. This gave Awadhe an additional advantage as they had picked this clash as the Trump match and a win gavs them two points, instead of one for a win.
World number three Kidambi Srikanth, who has had a pretty successful year so far defeated Frenchman Brice Leverdez 15-12, 15-14 to add to the success of the Warriors. Leverdez put up a tough fight against Srikanth but after they were tied at 14-all, the Indian sealed the match via sudden death.
Earlier, Christinna and Tang also helped Awadhe Warriors begin with a bang as he stunned the English couple of Chris and Gabriel Adcock 10-15, 15-5, 15-12. The Adcocks began well but the Danish Christinna and Hong Kong’s Tang clawed back into the contest to help the Warriors win the match.
Although Saina wasn’t participating, she kept on cheering for her team from the bench. Awadhe coach Anup Sridhar however is hopeful that the star shuttler would be available for their clash against North East Warriors on December 30 at the Siri Fort Sports Complex in New Delhi.
Smashers won the men’s doubles event and the Trump Match of the women’s singles where star player Sindhu dispatched Sai Uttejitha Rao 15-10, 15-9 to make it to three points for Chennai.