The P V Sindhu-spearheaded Awadhe Warriors inched a step closer to the semifinal spot after they defeated Mumbai Masters 3-2 in the inaugural Indian Badminton League here on Saturday night. (Match as it happened)
The contest between the two teams was close till the fourth match of the tie, but the mixed doubles pair of M Kido-Pia Bernadeth of Warriors finally brought cheers for their fans as they defeated Masters Ivanov Vladimir and Siki Reddy 21-19, 21-15 in the decider. (Match in pics)
After this win, Warriors are placed at fourth on the table with twelve points from two wins and two loses in four ties.
They will next play the second-placed Pune Pistons on August 26 in Hyderabad. Though Masters lost the tie, they are placed joint-first on the points table with fifteen points in five ties with two wins and three loses. They though have exhausted their league matches while Hyderabad, who are current joint table-toppers have a match in hand.
Rising shuttlers PV Sindhu and Vladimir Ivanov won their respective singles matches as Masters and Warriors were tied at 1-1.
The tall Russian, who has been in good form in the mixed doubles so far with his team-mate Sikki Reddy, started the proceedings for the Masters.
Ivanov rode on his powerful smashes and better placements to tame Gurusaidutt 21-18, 21-20, 11-9 in the first men's singles match to give Masters a 1-0 lead over Warriors. Sindhu then prevailed over Tine Baun 21-12, 19-21, 11-8 in the women's singles match to guide Warriors to level the tie 1-1.
In the third match, Markis Kido and Mathias Boe kept the hopes alive for the Warriors with a 21-16, 21-14 victory over Masters B Sumeet Reddy and Manu Attri in the men's doubles competition to give their side a 2-1 lead in the tie.
Masters came back strongly with their iconic player Lee Chong Wei dismantling the talented Warriors youngster K Srikanth 21-15, 20-21, 11-5 in the second men's singles match, which helped the team to equalise at 2-2.
Mixed doubles pair of Kido and Bernadeth finally brought cheers for Warriors fans as they defeated Masters Ivanov Vladimir and Siki Reddy 21-19, 21-15 in the fifth and final match, outwitting Masters 3-2 in the tie.
In the first men's singles match, Ivanoh was leading the first game 7-4 at the first break but Gurusai turned the tables and gave a tough fight to the Russian as at one stage the scoreline read 12-all.
Ivanov clawed to a lead of 20-18 and pocketed the next point to grab the first game 21-18.
In the second game, Gurusai played an attacking game and opened up a 12-7 lead at the first break but Ivanoh made it 19 all with some attacking strokeplay. Ivanoh then fought back brilliantly but the Indian was able to keep his nose ahead and clinched the nail-biting second game 21-20.
In the third game, Ivanoh was trailing three points behind Gurusai at 3-6, but Ivanoh kept breathing down the Indian's neck by winning three straight point.
A couple of unforced errors and a bad judgement by Gurusai cost the match, as the Russian won the game 11-9.
In the second women's singles match, the reputation of Tine Baun did not matter as bronze medalist at World Championships P V Sindhu went about her business with ease and comfortably won the the first game 21-12 with a cross court push.
In the second game, Sindhu maintained her composure and was ahead at the first break Tine 7-5. Tine clawed her way back but Sindhu stuck to a slight lead at 14-12 after the second break.
Tine, however, came from behind to take the second game 21-19, levelling the match at 1-1.
Tine brought her depth of experience and went ahead of Sindhu 6-5 in the third game at the only break in the decider. However, Sindhu prevailed over Tine to win the game 11-8 and thus keeping Warriors in the hunt. Sindhu won 21-12, 19-21.
In the third match, Markis Kido and Mathias Boe kept Warriors hopes alive with a 21-16, 21-14 victory over Masters B Sumeet Reddy and Manu Attri in the men's doubles competition to give their side a 2-1 lead in the tie.
Kido-Boe gave Warriors early lead against Sumeet-Manu racing to 7-4 after first break and continued to lead after second break with score at 14-8 in their favour.
Sumeet/Manu could not wage a fightback against Kido-Boe, who were exceptionally good in the first game for the Warriors and took the game 21-16.
Kido-Boe just about held on to their lead in the second game as some mistakes from them enabled Masters Sumeet-Manu to reduce the margin to 12-14 in the second game.
However, after that the Warriors pair did not concede any points to their opponents and convincingly won the game 21-14, giving their side a 2-1 lead in the tie.
In the fourth game, the spectators witnessed some fine early duels as Srikanth fought Wei tooth and nail as the the scoreline read 7-6 after the first break. Wei showed his class while Srikanth held his fort at the second break with the score at 14-12 in the Malaysian's favour.
Wei then stamped his authority and took the first game 21-15 in spectacular fashion as Srikanth wilted under pressure.
Srikanth proved his worth in the second game and played high-quality badminton to trouble world number 1 Wei, beating him 21-20.
Wei proved too hot for the Indian to handle and took the last game 11-5 to win the match, leaving both teams tied at 2-2.
In the decider, Kido-Bernadeth of Warriors edged past Ivanov and Sikki 14-12 after the second break. Soon they bagged the first game 21-19 despite spirited a comeback by Ivanov and Siki.
Kio-Pia maintained a lead of 7-6 over Ivanov-Siki after the first break in the second game, though the Masters' pair played much better. Maintaining the same tempo they trounced Masters duo 21-15 to clinch it for the Warriors.