Mumbai: The Lee Hyun-il led defending champions Hyderabad Hunters grabbed their Christmas Day victory with a final score of 5-0 over Chennai Smashes in the 2018/2019 season of Premier Badminton League (PBL) on Tuesday.
In the first match of the evening, Bodin Isara/Kim Sa Rang Hyderabad Hunters played Hyderabad’s Trump Match against Or Chin Chung/B. Sumeeth Reddy of Chennai Smashers. The Hunters eventually prevailed with 13-15, 15-12, 15-10 and gave their team a 2-0 lead in the tie.
Next up, 38-year-old Lee Hyun-il of Hyderabad Hunters proved he still has a lot of gas left in the tank to continue to put up a challenge against 31-year-old Chong Wei Feng of Chennai Smashers in the men’s singles match.
Lee was proactive, fluid and aggressive, clinching the first set with 15-11 through a powerful smash that forced Chong Wei Feng to commit a backhand error. Lee was able to battle through the second set, edging Chong in an absolute nail-biter with 15-11, 15-13 to put Hyderabad 3-0 up in the tie.
Then, it came the big match of the evening between P. V. Sindhu (Hyderabad Hunters) and Sung Ji Hyun (Chennai Smashers) in the women’s singles match, in which Sindhu led the head to head record in international tournaments by 8 to 6.
However, Sung managed to seesaw momentum and provided herself a 14-12 advantage before taking the first game 15-13 with a fantastic forehand drop to catch Sindhu who was quite deep in her court off guard.
Sindhu was able to smash her way back in the second with a 15-14 victory to force a decider.
The World No. 11 Sung got her job done in style as she quickly raced to a 13-3 in the decider and gave Chennai Smashers their first win of the season by beating Sindhu 15-7 in the third-set.
Ultimately, Hyderabad Hunters’ Mark Caljouw and Kim Sa Rang/Eom Hye Won was able to beat their respective opponents in the second men’s singles and mixed doubles matches, wrapping up the tie 5-0 in favor of Hyderabad Hunters.