Bengaluru Blasters humbled Delhi Acers 4-3 in a keenly-fought Premier Badminton League (PBL) clash between the two sides at the Gachibowli indoor stadium here.
Bengaluru’s Cheung Ngan Yi pulled off a thrilling 11-9, 6-11, 11-2 win in her women’s singles match (the last and deciding match of the tie late last night) against Delhi’s Tanvi Lad to give her side two points as it was the Trump match of Bengaluru Blasters.
Yi, ranked 20th in the world, was expected to sail through easily, but the little-known Lad proved to be a tough nut to crack. Lad, currently ranked 57th, put up a stiff fight in the first set and went on to win the second set. Lad’s win in the second set rekindled hopes for Delhi as it was the deciding game, but Yi brushed aside any possibility of an upset and won the third set 11-2.
Earlier, the tie began with the first men’s singles match between Bengaluru’s Viktor Axelsen and Delhi’s Jan O Jorgensen. It was expected to be a clash of equals and it did turn out to be a closely-fought one.
Jorgensen and Axelsen, both from Denmark and ranked two and three respectively, are familiar with each other’s game as they often train together. In an evenly-poised competition, Jorgensen finally won 11-9, 11-9. The second match saw Ko Sung-Hyun-Sikki Reddy of Bengaluru and Delhi’s Jwala Gutta-Vladimir Ivanov cross swords in mixed doubles.
Though the Gutta-Ivanov duo put up a resistance, it was not enough to prevent the Bengaluru pair from winning the match 11-6 11-6. Bengaluru and Delhi were at par with 1-1 points after the second match.
The third match of second men’s singles between Bengaluru’s Sourabh Varma and Delhi’s Son Wan Ho, which the Delhi side chose as its Trump match, saw a stiff resistance from Varma. Varma, ranked 45, began his campaign aggressively and made life difficult for the world number fourth Son Wan Ho. The two were engaged in long rallies, making it enthralling for the viewers, and Son eventually pulled off a hard-fought win. The tie was then in Delhi’s favour with a 3-1 lead. The fourth match of men’s doubles was between Sung Hyun Ko-Yeon Seong Yoo (Bengaluru) and Vladimir Ivanov-Ivan Suzonov (Delhi).
The reigning All England Champions Ivanov and Suzanov lost the first set 10-12 to the Russians, but the former fought back brilliantly and won the remaining two sets 11-3 and 11-6. Delhi still had an edge of 3-2 over Bengaluru.
However, with Cheung Ngan Yi winning the final and deciding match, Bengaluru got a total of four points, while Delhi’s campaign stopped at three points.