Guwahati: Mumbai Rockets got off to a flying start in the Premier Badminton League defeating Delhi Dashers 4-1 at the Karmabir Nabin Chandra Bordoloi Indoor Stadium here on Monday.
The scoreline may suggest a comfortable win for the Rockets, but it was not until the final match that one could decide the winner. Mumbai led 2-1, much to the disappointment of the Dashers’ fans who could only earn a point despite winning two back-to-back matches.
Wong wing ki Vincent’s game against Sameer Verma which was marked as a trump match by the Dashers backfired as the 30th ranked Indian not only gave his side an additional point but pushed Delhi into the negative territory, which had to be compensated with Sung Ji Hyun’s victory over Beiwen Zhang of the Rockets.
Mumbai began with a hard fought win in the men’s doubles before Sameer consolidated their position with a comfortable 15-11, 15-12 win over Vincent. Delhi did bounce back with two back-to-back victories in the men’s and women’s singles, to make it 2-1 going into the final fixture.
Gabriela Stovea and Lee Yong Dae however ensured no more hiccups with an easy 15-11, 15-9 win over the Indian pair of A.J. Sunil and Pranav Jerry Chopra in the mixed doubles.
It was supposed to be a tough battle for Sameer who was making a return from shoulder injury against the eight ranked Chinese Wong Vincent. The Indian however completely outplayed the much superior oppnent with a 15-11, 15-12 victory in a game that lasted just over 37 minutes.
The 23-year-old wrapped up the first game in less than 20 minutes well on his way to a fluent win. But at 14-8, a few nervy shots saw the Chinese pullback three points before Sameer wrapped it up with a perfect drop at the net.
Earlier the South Korean-Malaysian pair of Lee Yong Dae & Tan Boon Heong overcame a tough Russian duo of Ivan Sozonov & Vladimir Ivanov 14-15, 15-14, 15-10 in the opening Men’s Doubles match.
Failing to contain the tall presence of a 6 foot 6 inch Ivanovich, the Rockets pair succumbed to a 14-15 loss in the opening in game. But bounced back in the next two using their vast experience combined with the unforced errors of the Dashers who found the net at regular intervals, to pose a comfortable victory.