The 5-0 score line is rather uncharitable for the Hyderabad Hunters, as they were extremely competitive and gave the Awadhe Warriors a tough fight all the way. All five matches were competitive and went down to the wire, a little bit of luck and a few points here and there was al that made the difference.
B. Sai Praneeth gave Vincent Wong Wing Ki a tough fight in the first match of the evening, but had little to show for his efforts – a theme that was set to repeat itself for the remainder of the evening. Sai lost 11-13 11-6 13-11 in an intense encounter that went down to the wire. Carolina Marin then continued her impressive run as she slayed the second successive Hyderabad girl in two days. Saina Nehwal was ousted in 15-14 11-5 to leave the match tied at 1-1.
Savitree Amitrapai & Bodin Isara were playing the trump match for Warriors and they were clinical in their 11-9 12-10 victory over Chau Hoi Wah & Satwik Sai Raj. Next up were Rajiv Ouseph & Srikanth Kidambi for the Men’s Singles event – a highly anticipated clash.
The match lived up to its top billing and both players produced some breathtaking badminton. The first two games were tied at 1-1 and the third one was hard to split with both players going for their shots and not afraid to take the risks. India’s no 1 – Srikanth eventually won the 3rd game and the match by a whisker, to put the Warriors well and truly ahead in the contest.
Down 4-1, the Hunters had a lot riding on the final game as Tan Boon Heong & Tan Wee Kiong came up against Goh W Shem & Markis Kido for their trump match. The match witnessed some furious smashing from both teams and they were tied 1-game apiece going into the final game. A see-saw battle ended 11-13 in favor of the warriors – once again the margin of victory was as slender as it could get; and with a little more luck who knows what could have been!
The Hunters leave the home turf with mixed emotions, the high of winning the first match subdued by the loss in the second one. The caravan now moves to Mumbai and there’s a lot riding on the next encounter in against Mumbai Rockets on Thursday!