New Delhi: Tommy Sugiarto showed his fighting spirit with a huge win for hosts Delhi Acers over Hyderabad Hunters’s Lee Chong Wei in the Premier Badminton League (PBL) on Thursday.
Prior to Thursday’s match, Acers have lost their opening two ties by the same margin of 3-4 to the Awadhe Warriors and Chennai Smashers, while Hyderabad Hunters have defeated Bengaluru Top Guns in Mumbai on Sunday.
PC Thulasi of Delhi Acers started her first match disappointingly by losing a close women’s singles match against Supanida Katethong of Hyderabad Hunters 15-12, 9-15, 13-15.
Commonwealth Games silver medalist Rajiv Ouseph then earned a crucial point for Delhi Acers when he staged a strong comeback with aggressive smashes and drop shots to crush Hyderabad Hunters’ reigning Commonwealth Games champion Parupalli Kashyap 15-9, 15-10 in the first men’s singles match to level the tie at 1-1.
Hyderabad Hunters then sent Jwala Gutta and Markis Kido to play against Acers’ Akshay Dewalkar and Gabrielle Adcock in the mixed-doubles match as the Indian-Indonesian pair from Hyderabad displayed a dominating game to knock out Dewalkar/Adcock 15-7, 15-8 in 22 minutes to give Hyderabad Hunters a 2-1 lead.
With a 2-1 advantage and with Lee Chong Wei playing their Trump Match in the second men’s singles match, Hyderabad Hunters overwhelmingly expected to win the tie. Lee started off beautifully, hitting his shots with extreme precision and accuracy to take the first game against Tommy Sugiarto 15-9. However, Sugiarto refused to go away without a fight by clinching the second set 15-10. The resilient Indonesian was in top form when he bounced back several times in the decider to eventually seal the match 9-15, 15-10, 15-14 in an edge-of-the-seat thriller to reverse the total score in favor of Delhi Acers to 2-1.
“It was incredible! I lost the first set but I didn’t give up, I played more aggressively in the second and third set which led me to win Lee’s trump match. I am confident we have a strong chance of winning tonight’s tie,” said Sugiarto.
Acers then selected Koo Kien Keat/Tan Boon Heong to play in their trump match against K Nandagopal and Satwik Sai Raj of Hyderabad Hunters in the men’s doubles, which was also the final match of the evening. The Malaysian pair of Koo Kien Keat and Tan Boon Heong were made to work before surviving a tougher than expected fight from K Nandagopal and Satvik Sai 15-12, 14-15, 15-13, earning two crucial points and scripting a happy night for Delhi Acers with a 4-1 superb victory.
Please refer to article below to understand how the ‘Trump Match’ works:
India Premier Badminton League: Lee Chong Wei falls in upset loss to Kidambi Srikanth.