Hyderabad Hunters got off to a bright start in their Premier Badminton League opener, beating North East Warriors 5-2 in a five-match duel at the Karmabir Nabin Chandra Bordoloi Indoor Stadium in Guwahati on Sunday.
The Hunters won their men's doubles, first men's singles and women's singles. The North East Warriors' supported by a large number of vociferous fans took the first two matches to the distance but failed to deliver the knockout blow.
Hunters' star player Carolina Marin justified her World No. 3 billing by defeating Michelle Li 15-9, 15-11. It was a significant victory as the Hunters had listed it as their Trump match, fetching them two points.
After three matches, Hunters had garnered four points while the Warriors were yet to open their account.
Tzu Wei Wang secured a consolation win for the Warriors by beating Sai Praneeth in three games in the home side's Trump match.
However, mixed doubles pairing of PiaZebaidiahBernadet and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy crushed Prajakta Sawant/ Shin Baek Cheol to make sure the Hunters finished on a high.
Earlier, the Hunters men's doubles pair of Markis Kido/Yoo Yeon Seong overcame a resolute Kim Gi Jung/Shin Baek Cheol 15-10, 13-15, 15-13 in a thriller to give them their first point. The South Korean duo put up a gallant display but the experience of Indonesian Kido and Korean Seong stood out in a tense finish.
Lee Hyun Il then caused an upset by defeating Ajay Jayaram 15-13, 11-15, 15-6 in the men's singles. Jayaram, who held a 3-0 advantage against the Korean in their earlier meetings, appeared to justify it by racing to a 6-0 lead in the first game. But Lee Hyun clawed back to turn the tables on him15-13. Although the Indian bounced back in the second and took the contest to the third game, Lee Hyun closed out the match with a dominant display.
Hyderabad Hunters vs North East Warriors
Men's doubles: Markis Kido/ Yoo Yeon Seong bt Kim Gi Jung/ Shin Baek Cheol 15-10, 13-15, 15-13
Men's singles: Lee Hyun Il bt AjayJayaram 15-13,11-15, 15-6
Women's singles: Carolina Marin bt Michelle Li 15-9,15-11
Men's singles: Tzu Wei Wang bt B Sai Praneeth 11-15, 15-6, 15-6
Mixed doubles: Pia Zebaidiah Bernadet/ Satwiksairaj Rankireddy bt Prajakta Sawant/ Shin Baek Cheol 15-8, 15-11