HYDERABAD HUNTERS hunt down their opponents Delhi Acers 5-2 in the final league stage tie in the Premier Badminton League. The win confirmed their spot in the semi-finals. Carolina Marin, once again proving to be the star and the best signing for the Hunters.
Sameer Verma gave his team Hyderabad a perfect start to the tie as he won the match coming from behind. He defeated youngster Siril Verma who was playing his first match in this season of Premier Badminton League.
By winning the first game, Siril put the Hunter under pressure but with strong smashes and shots, Sameer came back winning following two games, 8-11, 11-3, 11-2 with ease. The highlight of this match was that it indulged in extremely intense rallies, the highest of them being 44 shots in the first game.
This put Hyderabad in great position as they only needed two more points to confirm a place in the semi-finals.
Then what followed after this was absolutely magical as Satwik/Chau were once again the surprise package as they thrashed the much higher ranked and experienced pair of Jwala Gutta/Ivanov in straight games.
Complete domination from the youngster, showing off some great skills, winning it with ease 11-3, 11-4. We did mention in our preview, that expect a surprise here, it could go against the Acers' pair
This win put Hyderabad in a comfortable position, needing just one point to book a place in the semis.
The scores for the tie were levelled, thanks to Jan O Jorgensen's trump match win over Rajiv Ouseph. The Dane made that head-to-head lead into play and dominated the match throughout. Not giving the Englishman any room to get back in the match. It was a straight game victory, 11-5, 11-7 win.
Hunters' star shuttler, Carolina Marin then won her trump match against Jindapol to lead her team into the semis. But it wasn't an easy match for the Olympic champion as Jindapol put immense pressure on Marin in the first game. It went down to 14-14 and the sudden death was to be played to decide the winner. A fantastic challenge from Marin in the end gave her the crucial point to take the first game 15-14.
The second game was rather an easy one for the Spaniard. She had the determination to win the points for her team and so she did, winning it with ease 11-4. This sealed the tie for the Hunters.
The final match of the night was men's doubles contest that went in favour of the Hunters pair Tan Boon/ Tan Wee. Though it was a straight game victory for the Malaysian duo, the Russians gave them a run for their money.
Winning the first game 11-9 and moving into the second, it was high end drama unfolding once again courtesy to the intense doubles action in the league. In the second game, at point while a series of shots were being played, Ivan Sozonov lost his racket and ran to change it and then continued with the shots. That point was won the Acers duo, Sozonov/Ivanov. But it was too late to get back as Hunters duo took the game and the match in their favour, 13-11.
The final score was 5-2 in favour of Hyderabad Hunters. They face Mumbai Rockets in the semi-final tomorrow. While the other semi-final tie is between Awadhe Warriors and Chennai Smashers.