Hyderabad Hunters v Bengaluru Top Guns, NSCI Stadium Mumbai – Hyderabad won 3-2
It was the first match of the campaign and both South Indian powerhouse franchises were looking to make a winning start to get their title aspirations the right start. The tie saw a see-saw battle with Bengaluru’s Srikanth Kidambi downing Hyderabad favorite Lee Chong Wei. But the Hunters won both the Trump matches to ensure that they bagged the tie 3-2.
In the opening encounter, Suo Di gained an earlier advantage over SupanidaKathetong and despite a commendable fight back in the later stages by the former, won the encounter. The second encounter saw arstenMogensen/Markis Kido turn it up in style against KhimWah Lim/Hoon Tien How. The pulsating encounter ended in Hyderabad’s favor 13-15 15-9 15-14.
PaupalliKashyap then put up a spirited performance against the gallant Sameer Verma to make it 2 out of 2 trump matches for Hyderabad. Markis Kido then combined with JwalaGutta but couldn’t recreate the same magic as the Men’s Double tie as Gutta’s national partner Ashwini Ponnappa combined with Jaochim Nielsen to down the Hyderabad team 15-13 15-13.
The final tie of the evening was Lee Chong Wei v Srikanth Kidambiand the match lived up to its top billing with some sensational racquet play by both players. Lee made an excellent start by Srikanth continued to stay on the coattails and won the first game. Lee then took the second game with relative ease but Kidambi came back strong to take the third game and the match.
The overall score however was in favor of the Hyderabad Hunters. As much as the result what thrilled the fans on both side was the superlative Badminton that was witnessed in one of the best encounters of the 2016 edition.