Smashers notch up fine win

The much-anticipated Saina Nehwal-PV Sindhu clash didn't happen but the fans were treated to some great rallies and powerful smashes as the Chennai Smashers beat a formidable Awadhe Warriors 4-3 in the second edition of the Premier Badminton League on Wednesday.

With both Smashers and Warriors already in the semifinals, Saina decided to sit out the contest but Sindhu made her presence felt as the Chennai outfit finished the league phase in third position with 18 points, behind Warriors (21) and Mumbai Rockets (19).

The last league match in New Delhi between Delhi Acers and Hyderabad Hunters on Thursday will be crucial in deciding the final last-four spot, with both these teams as well as Bengaluru Blasters in with a chance to join the top three teams.

While Acers will need to win 6-(-1) to advance, Hyderabad will need to collect just three points to qualify. Blasters can make it if Acers manage to beat the Hunters 4-1.

Warriors got off to a fine start when Wing Ki Vincent Wong defeated Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk 6-11, 11-9, 12-10 in the first men's singles but Chennai drew level when the mixed doubles pair of Chris and Gabrielle Adcock beat Bodin Isara and Prajakta Sawant 11-4, 11-9.

In the most keenly contested game of the day, Parupalli Kashyap then warded off the unfancied Aditya Joshi 11-7, 5-11, 11-7 in Chennai's trump match, giving his team a 3-1 lead.

The World No 62 found the going easy in the first game but in an unexpected turn of events, an adrenaline-filled Joshi came out like a man on a mission in the second game and thoroughly outplayed his rival.

Joshi stayed close to Kashyap in the decider as well but the latter brought all his experience to play to come through.

With Saina missing from the team dugout, crowd-favourite Sindhu, for the second time in two days, came out and clinched the tie for her side, making it 4-1 with a 11-4, 11-6 annihilation of Rituparna Das.

Warriors' mens doubles pair of V Shem Goh and Markis Kido put out a classy performance to down Mads Pieler Kolding and B Sumeeth Reddy 12-10, 11-8 as the tie ended with a final scoreline of 4-3.

Results: Chennai Smashers bt Awadhe Warriors: 4-3 (Mens singles: Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk lt to Wing Ki Vincent Wong 6-11, 11-9, 12-10. Mixed doubles: Chris Adcock/ Gabrielle Adcock bt Bodin Isara/ Prajakta Sawant 11-4, 11-9. Mens singles (Trump match for Chennai Smashers): Parupalli Kashyap bt Aditya Joshi 11-7, 5-11, 11-7. Womens singles: PV Sindhu bt Rituparna Das 11-4, 11-6. Mens doubles (Trump match for Awadhe Warriors): Mads Pieler Kolding/B Sumeeth Reddy lt to V Shem Goh/Markis Kido 12-10, 11-8).