Delhi: After beginning their campaign with two losses, Delhi Dashers returned to winning ways with a thumping 5-0 win over Hyderabad Hunters in the last match of the leg of the Premier Badminton League here at the Sri Fort Sports Comes on Sunday.
The clash however started in the Indian’s favour as Praneeth raced to a 12-8 lead making the Chinese run all over the court, but Houwei used all his experience to draw level at 13-13 and standing at 14-14, he ran away with the winner as Praneeth’s return found the net.
The second game was a similar battle as Praneeth began with a 8-6 lead at the break before Houwei bounced his way back with two deft smashes. The Chinese controlled the proceedings baiting the World No 16 with his wonderful drop shots, with the game all but over standing at 14-11. However, the Hyderabadi displayed awe-inspiring grit to take the game into the decider with an inspiring comeback to snatch all the next four points to seal the set 15-14.
Houwei then made full use of Praneeth’s sluggishness who looked tired after an epic battle to win the decider 15-10, despite a spirited fightback from the Indian after lagging behind at 4-10.
Earlier Lee Hyun Il became only the second player after his opponent Vincent Wong Wing Ki of Hong Kong to lose a trump match. Interestingly Vincent who came into the match with a 0-2 head to head record against the Korean stunned him with a comeback win despite going down 13-15 in the opening set.
The World No 15 raced to a 5-1 lead at the start with a flurry of smashes but failed to capitalise on it as Lee battled his way back to take a lead of 12-8 before sealing the game at 15-13.
Both Vincent and Lee were however pushed to their limits in the second game in what was a pulsating clash between the two. Vincent once again began with a small lead of 8-5 at the break but the World No 18 soon bounced back from trailing at 5-10, to drawing levels at 10-10. But the Hong Kong shuttler held on to eventually win the second set 15-11.
The third game was loop sided contest as Vincent raced to a lead of 8-3 lead before wrapping up the win at 15-4.
Carolina Marin’s stunning victory over world No 6 Sung Ji Hyun of Korea helped Hyderabad Hunters stay alive in the match but did not matter in the end as the Hunters failed to win any more games.
The game had began with a doubles win for the Dashers when the duo of Vladimir Ivanov and Ivan Sozonov breezed past the Indonesian/Korean pair of Markis Kido and Yoo Yeon Seong 15-9, 15-11, to run out comfortable winners.
Later the mixed doubles pair of Vladimir Ivanov and Ashwini Ponnappa added to the Hunters’ woes with another straight set victory 15-11, 15-12 over Satwik Sairaj Rankireddy and Pia Zebadiah Bernadeth in the last match of the day.
Men’s Doubles: Markis Kido/ Yoo Yeon Seong lost to Ivan Sozonov / Ivanov Vladimir-9-15; 11-15