In an unfortunate turn of events, defending champions Chennai Smashers went down to Delhi Dashers after they had to concede the last match of the tie due to an ankle injury to Gabrielle Adcock mid-way into the first game in the Vodafone Premier Badminton League played at the BBD UPBA in Lucknow on Wednesday.
The match which would have decided the outcome of the tie could not be completed as Gabrielle twisted her ankle while returning a shot. Playing in their trump match, Adcocks couple Gabrielle/Chris were trailing 5-6 in the match.
Going into the match, Chennai were trailing 1-2, but a loss will erase their slate while Delhi were awarded a point and won the tie 3-0 on points.
PV Sindhu goes down fighting agaisnt Sung Ji Hyun
Earlier , Korea's Sung Ji Hyun, ranked 6th in the world beat World No.3 PV Sindhu of India to give Delhi Dashers a slight advantage (2-1 on points) against Chennai Smashers.
Sung Ji who had lost to Sindhu on both occasions in last season, exacted her revenge to disappoint the packed stadium that braved the chilly weather to see their favourite star in action.
In a battle of equals in this marquee clash of the day, Sung Ji Hyun prevailed over Sindhu prevailed over 11-15,15-13, 15-14.
It was the lanky Indian who asserted early domination by taking an 8-6 lead at the interval in the first game. She used the length of the court very well and tormented Sung Ji throughout with her deceptive cross courts drop. She did not face much of a challenge and danced her way to win the game.
In the second game, Sung Ji tried to force Sindhu onto the back-foot by engaging her in long rallies. The Korean who has faced Sindhu on several occasions in the past got better as the match progressed and even though Sindhu tried her best to wrap up the proceedings, Sung Ji drew level to send the match into the decider.
It was a riveting contest in the final game with both the players engaging in a fierce battle. However, it was Sung who had the last laugh as she fought her way to victory to send Delhi ahead in the contest.
Tian Houwei emerges successful
In the third match of the tie, World No.22 Tain Houwei of China beat Chennai Smashers' Tanongsak Saemsomboonsuk 15-14,15-10 to keep Delhi Dashers alive in the tie.
In the first game, the lone Chinese started off well and breezed to establish an 8-2 lead at the interval. However, after the breather, Tian could not maintain his stronghold and Tanongsak fought his way back into the match. He showed great tenacity and snatched the lead from Tian for the first time in the match. With a striking distance from winning the game, his errors helped Tian save three game point to win the opening game.
In the second game, Tanongsak was leading 8-5 mid-way and should have tied the match. But he lost focus again and committed string of errors which allowed the Chinese to get back into the match and eventually emerge victorious. 15-10
In the second match of the day, Hong Kong's Vincent Wong Wing Ki registered a comprehensive 15-10, 15-13 victory over France's Brice Leverdez to reduce Delhi's deficit in the tie.
World No.15 Vincent started off in a jiffy rushing to an 8-2 lead in no time and it looked like he would win the game without facing much of a challenge. Brice did improve gradually but could not stop the Hong Kong shuttler Vincent take the lead in the match.
In the second game, Brice showed better determination and grit but could not stop the Delhi juggernaut as Vincent made his way to victory.
In the lung-opener of the day, the Indo/Taiwanese men's doubles combination of B Sumeeth Reddy/ Lee Yang scored a superb 15-13,15-11 victory over the Russian trump duo of Ivan Sozonov/Vladimir Ivanov to help Chennai Smashers draw first blood of the tie.
The win saw Chennai log in their first point of the evening, while condemned Delhi to a -1 by the virtue of losing the trump match.
- MD - B Sumeeth Reddy/Lee Yang bt Ivan Sozonov/Vladimir Ivanov [T] - 15-13,15-11
- MS - Wing Ki Wong Vincent bt Brice Leverdez - 15-10, 15-13
- MS - Tian Houwei bt Tanongsak Saemsomboonsuk - 15-14, 15-10
- WS - Sung JI Hyun bt P V Sindhu- 11-15,15-13, 15-14
- XD - Ashwini Ponnappa/Ivanov Vladimir bt Chris Adcock/Gabrielle Adcock - 6-5 (conceded)