Delhi Smashers on Saturday made a superb comeback after trailing 0-2 at one stage as they defeated strong contender Hyderabad Hotshots 3-2 in the inaugural Indian Badminton League (IBL) in Lucknow. (All the highlights from Saturday)
The Smashers rode on the strong performance by their men's and mixed double teams to register their first victory in the tournament.
After being locked 2-2, it was their mixed doubles pair of V Diju and Prajakta Sawant who finally took Delhi home after they defeated Hyderabad's V Shem Goh and Pradnya Gadre in the last match of the tie.
Earlier, Sai Praneeth of Smashers suffered a 21-19 19-21 7-11 defeat to Thai player S Tanongsak in the first men's singles to allow Hyderabad a 1-0 lead.
The second game was played between ace shuttler Saina Nehwal of Hyderabad and Arundhati Pantawane of Delhi. Though Arundhati initially troubled Saina, but with her powerful smashes, the London Olympics bronze medallist won the game 21-6.
Saina continued her dominance in the second game and defeated Arundhati 21-8 to give Hyderabad a 2-0 lead. However, world number two Malaysian pair of Boon Heong Tan and Kien Keat Koo kept Delhi's hopes alive when they defeated V Shem Goh and Kona Tarun of Hyderabad 21-14 21-10 to reduce the lead by 1-2.
The fourth match was played between Taufik Hidayat and Malaysian Darren Liew, but the former World and Olympic champion was off colour and lost 10-21 7-21 as Delhi bounced back into the contest, making it 2-2.
Making a good start, Darren maintained the momentum throughout the match. He displayed a good performance in the second game too and dominated the proceedings with his strong smashes.
Diju and Prajakta then took the court against V Shem Goh and Pradnya Gadre.
The Hyderabadi players, which won the decisive game against Awadh Warriors in the last outing, failed to recreate their magic and lost the first game by 21-20.
In the second game, Smashers maintained their dominance and won by 21-15 to bring cheers to the Delhi camp.