Ace Indian shuttler Saina Nehwal defeated Nitchaon Jindapol as Awadhe Warriors spanked Delhi Acers 6-1 to register their second win in the second edition of the Premier Badminton League at the Babu Banarasi Das Indoor Stadium, here on Thursday.
The 26-year-old Saina outplayed Nitchaon 14-12, 11-7 in a trump match to register her first win of the league and helped the Warriors take advantage over the Acers.
By virtue of this win, Saina has extended her unbeaten run to eight games against the Thai shuttler.
Turning out in the second match of the tie, Saina was slow to start as she conceded a 2-5 lead to Nitchaon.
After initial hiccups, Saina got her composure back and staged a comeback to draw level at 6-6.
Saina then took two more points and seemed on course to run away with the match when Nitchaon made a comeback riding on her fine serve.
But the Thai shuttler faltered at the end stage as Saina took advantage off the laxity to stay in the game.
It was a neck and neck fight between the two shuttlers but in the end, Saina kept a cool head to prevail over opponent 14-12.
In the second game, Saina was again slow to start off the blocks as Nitchaon took a crucial 3-0 lead.
But the Indian slowly got back into the game and grew in confidence at the tie progressed. The Indian dished out her exquisite forehand shots to win the game 11-7.
Saina’s win in the trump match not only extended the Warriors lead but also earned them extra points.
Earlier in the opening tie of the day, mixed doubles pair of Akshay Dewalkar and Vladimir Ivanov defeated Goh W Shem and Markis Kido 11-4, 11-4 to give Warriors the initial advantage.
Later, ace Indian men’s singles shuttler Kidambi Srikanth beat Jan O Jorgensen 11-9, 11-13, 11-9, to ensure Warriors’ hold over the tie.
Srikanth had earlier defeated Jan in the Round of 16 of men’s singles at Rio Olympics 2016.
Then mixed doubles pair of Savitree Amitrapai and Bodin Isara got the better of Jwala Gutta and Vladimir Ivanov 12-10, 11-5 to hand Warriors an unassailable lead.
In the last match of the tie, Vincent Wong Wing of the Warriors beat Ki Son Wan Ho 11-8, 11-6 in another trump game to complete the formalities.