PBL 2017: MATCH REPORT -- Prannoy, Sourabh & World No. 1 Tai Tzu Ying star in 4-3 win over NE Warriors

DEBUTANT Ahmedabad Smash Masters got off to the best possible start in their inaugural campaign in the Premier Badminton League (PBL). On Tuesday in Guwahati the Smash Masters as they registered a 4-3 win over fellow newcomers North Eastern Warriors.

The heroes of the win for Ahmedabad Smash Masters were H S Prannoy, Sourabh Verma and women’s World No. 1 Tai Tzu Ying of Chinese Taipei who won their respective singles matches at the Karmabir Nabin Chandra Bordoloi A.C. Indoor Stadium.

The star of the day as expected was Tai Tzu who beat Warriors' Michelle Li of Canada 15-6, 15-10 in the Women's Singles, in what was the third fixture of the evening, to give her side a handy 2-1 lead. Being the Trump Player of the squad, Tai Tzu also earned the extra point.

The captain of Smash Masters, World No 10 Prannoy then showed amazing fighting qualities as he saved four game points to outplay World No 11 Tzu Wei Wang to maintain his unbeaten run in the PBL. Prannoy notched up his eight straight win in the PBL, to give his side a winning 3-1 lead.

The trend for the contest was however set by Sourabh Verma who beat Pratul Joshi 15-10, 15-7 in the first men’s singles contest.

The two points for North East Warriors came when the Indo-Korean pair of Prajakta Sawant/ Shin Baek Cheol won the Mixed Doubles encounter. The pair downed Smash Masters duo of Danish Kamilla Juhl and Lee Chun Hei Reginald of Hong Kong 15-13, 15-13. Then in a men’s double contest Shin Baek Cheol teamed up with KG Jung to beat the Smash Masters pairing of Lee Chun Hei Reginald and LC Him 15-8, 15-11. It was a valiant effort from the South Korean pair to win the Trump match and all important two points for North Eastern Warriors.

The talking point of the day was the show by Tai Tzu and Prannoy. Tai Tzu dominated as she raced to a 9-2 lead in the opening game against Michelle. Tai Tzu won the first game quite easily at 15-6.  In the second Michelle snatched a 3-1 lead and then increased the lead to 6-3, before Tai Tzu reversed the trend, by bringing about parity at 10-10. She then wrapped the contest at 10.

In the second men's singles match, Prannoy showed why he is riding high with confidence and remained unfazed despite trailing his rival Tzu Wei. He raced to a 8-4 lead and then won the first game 15-10. The second game was a slightly better contest, with Tzu Wei finally catching up with Prannoy at 8-8. He even went ahead 12-9, and stood on the brink of victory at 14-10. But Prannoy's defensive play came to his rescue once again, winning the next five points for an amazing win.

Results: Ahmedabad Smash Masters beat North Eastern Warriors 4-3: Women's Singles: Tai Tzu bt Michelle Li 15-16, 15-10 (Trump); Men's Singles: Sourabh Verma bt Pratul Joshi 15-10, 15-7; HS Prannoy bt Tzu Wei 15-10, 15-14; Mixed Doubles: Kamilla Juhl/Lee Chun Hei Reginald lost to Prajakta Sawant/Shin Baek Cheol 13-15, 13-15; Men's Doubles: Lee Chun Hei Reginald/LC Him lost to Shin Baek Cheol/KG Jung 8-15, 11-15 (Trump)

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