Acers outgun Top Guns
England recruit Rajiv Ouseph mesmerised badminton fans in the capital with a stunning victory over World No. 10 Kidambi Srikanth as Delhi Acers notched up their second successive win in the Premier Badminton League by outclassing Bengaluru Top Guns at the Siri Fort Stadium here on Friday.
The 29-year-old, who had won a Commonwealth Games silver medal here in 2010, scripted another memorable victory in front of a handful of cheering fans here when he saw off Srikanth 4-15 15-11 15-9 in the second men’s singles to give Delhi an unassailable 4-0 lead in the five-match rubber.
Korea Open Super Series finalist, Ajay Jayaram gave Delhi Acers a positive start as he saw off TATA Open winner Sameer Verma 15-10 15-12 in the opening men’s singles match.
Jayaram had an easy ride in the opening game as he broke off from 6-6 to gradually distance himself from Sameer to seal it with a smash at 14-10.
In the second game, Sameer showed better fight as he clawed his way back at 10-10 from 2-8 at the first break.
However, Jayaram again surged ahead and grabbed the lead at 13-12 when the 21-year-old from Dhar found the nets. The Mumbai-born shuttler eventually shut the door with a jump smash. Jayaram said: “It was an incredible start in the tie to build pressure on the opponent. I played few matches against Sameer before and knew his style of play which helped me to create my strategy. I just put pressure on him from the first service and managed to continue till the last minute. I played my natural game and kept the game tight.”
Former men’s doubles World No. 1 pair of Koo Keat Kien and Tan Boon Heong then earned Delhi two crucial points after beating Malaysian duo of Hoon Thien How and Khim Wah Lim 15-9 15-10 in the hosts’ Trump Match to take their lead to 3-0.
Benguluru then put the onus on Srikanth, who won the India Super Series here last year, to bring them back in the contest but the 22-year-old from Guntur could not deliver the goods.