PBL-Tommy Sugiarto Takes Delhi Acers to Final
World Number 11 Tommy Sugiarto led turned out to be a hero for the Delhi Acers as he led his side to the summit clash of the Premier Badminton League (PBL) with his 15-11, 15-10 win over Chennai Smashers' Brice Leverdez in the trump match in Bengaluru.
The scores were level 2-2 when Sugiarto took the courts and courtesy his win, Delhi edged Chennai 3-2 in the semifinals.
In the first game, Sugiarto was leading 10-5 at one stage but Brice managed to reduce the margin to 11-13. However, he could not match the agility and skillful movements of Sugiarto.
In the enthralling second game, Sugiarto kept the nerves at the end prompting Brice to commit two crucial errors, which saw Delhi clinching the tie and entering for the title clash.
India's star women's shuttler P V Sindhu consolidated the hopes of Chennai to qualify into the final by thrashing P C Thulasi in the trump match 15-6, 15-7, which gave Chennai N overall 3-2 points lead.
Down 0-2 in the tie, it was the Chennai duo - Chris Adcock and Pia Zebadiah - that kept the hopes alive by beating Delhi's pair of Gabrielle Adcock and Koo Keat Kien 15-9, 15- 14.
Sindhu picked the first game of the fourth match quite easily over Thulasi, who failed to repeat her own performance last night when she had denied Mumbai Rockets' trump match.
From the very beginning the lanky girl from Andhra Pradesh prevailed over Thulasi, who found it tough to cope up to the deft manoeuvres and power-packed smashes of her opponent.
Sindhu was at her best as she used her height to her advantage, making Thulasi clueless of her movements in the court and variety of stroke-plays she had in the store.
In Men's Doubles, Koo Keat Kien and Tan Boon Heong of Delhi Acers began with great elan, by clinching a thrilling encounter 15-10, 15-14 over Chris Adcock and Pranaav Chopra. Though the Delhi duo won the first match in straight sets, they did not fail to entertain the spectators, with their attacking game.
They powered their way through with lusty power-hitting and smashes down the line and on both sides of the court in a closely-fought battle.
Heong wrapped up the match in a thrilling second game when he smashed straight into the chest of the Adcock, who could not return, with the game ending at 15-14.
The Delhi duo started off with great elan when they won the first game of the match quite comfortably with both Adcock and Pranaav, finding it difficult to counter the attacking game of their opponents.
In the men's singles, Delhi's Ajay Jayaram overwhelmed Sony Dwi Kuncoro 14-15, 15-10, 15-7, giving an overall 2-0 lead in two matches of the tie.
Jayaram lost the first game in a close fight, but trounced Kuncoro in the next two games, rather convincingly.
The match was not less entertaining than the first. The fans enjoyed the first game with the battle going down the wire with Sony wrapping up the game smashing to the right of Jayaram who struggled to reach to the shuttle.
The Chennai star did well to keep the match in the team's kitty, especially after Jayaram was 6-8, two points behind Sony at the interval.
Sony however lost the second game as some casualness crept into his play, helping Jayaram to speed away with 15-10 victory.
Jayaram exploited the casual approach of Sony and played to his advantage by taking an early 8-2 lead at interval and continued with the tempo, claiming the decider with a margin of eight points, a clear reflection how Kuncoro lost the plot after winning the first game.
After losing first two matches, Chennai duo - Chris Adcock and Pia Zebadiah - came up trumps, winning their Mixed doubles match against Gabrielle Adcock and Koo Keat Kien, 15-9, 15-14, which kept the hopes of Chennai alive to go into the finals down 1-2 overall lead.
Trailing 7-8 at the interval in the first game of the third match, Delhi lost the game badly with a margin of six points, but gave a tough fight in the second game.
The see-saw fight ended with Koo hitting the shuttle into the net off Adcock's smash when the score read 14-all.