Sindhu powers Smashers to victory

Coming up against a higher ranked opponent is never easy but Chennai Smashers PV Sindhu made it seem routine as she beat World No 3 Sung Ji Hyun in the Premier Badminton League on Tuesday.

Riding on Sindhu's win in that crucial encounter, Chennai Smashers defeated Mumbai Rockets 4-3 to move to third position on the table with 14 points, ahead of Bengaluru Blasters (11), virtually assuring them of a semifinal spot.

Hoping to give her side a winning 4-1 lead, Sindhu, was expectedly, cheered on by a sizeable audience at the Koramangala Indoor Stadium. While the first game (11-8) was not taxing for the Indian ace, she had to dig deep in the second. With a fine combination of defensive and attacking play, Sung drew level at 10-10, after being 3-8 down.

The South Korean, though, could not hang on as Sindhu strode to a 11-8, 12-10 win, sealing the match for her team.

The opening game was an all-Indian affair as Chennais P Kashyap took on Mumbais HS Prannoy in the mens singles. Prannoy proved why hes ranked higher with a comfortable 11-9 first game win.

Kashyap, ranked 62, refused to lie low and began the second well, moving his rival around and forcing the errors out of him. But Prannoy, who is on a four-game unbeaten streak in the tournament, stormed his way back with some classic smashes and held his nerve to claim the second 13-11 and take Mumbai 1-0 up.

The Adcocks, Chris and Gabrielle, then brought Chennai back into the tie with a Trump victory over Chirag Shetty and Nadiezda Zieba in the mixed doubles.

Smashers, leading 2-1, then added to their tally through Tommy Sugiartos spirited 8-11, 11-2, 11-5 win against Mumbais Ajay Jayaram in the second mens singles rubber. Sindhu then took over to seal the match for Smashers before they lost the inconsequential men's doubles tie, making it 4-3.

Results: Chennai Smashers bt Mumbai Rockets 4-3 (Mens singles: P Kashyap lost to HS Prannoy 9-11, 11-13; Mixed doubles: (Trump match for Chennai Smashers) Chris Adcock/ Gabrielle Adcock bt Chirag Shetty/ Nadiezda Zieba 9-11, 11-2, 11-7; Mens singles: Tommy Sugiarto bt Ajay Jayaram 8-11, 11-2, 11-5; Womens singles: PV Sindhu bt Sung Ji Hyun 11-8, 12-10; Men's doubles: (Trump match for Mumbai Rockets) Chris Adcock/Mads Pieler Kolding lost to Yong Dae Lee/Nipitphon Puangpuapech 3-11, 5-11.