The Hyderabad Hunters came back from the brink to win their tie against Bengaluru 4-3 and keep up their chances of a making it to the Semi-Finals next Saturday. Some inspired performances but strewn with errors marked the tie, that kept both fans on the edge of their seats and provided some great entertainment.
Sameer Verma of the Hunters took to the court in the opening encounter as he defeated BoonsakPonsana 11-7 11-8 with relative ease to put the Hunters ahead. Carolina Marin was a surprise inclusion in the mixed doubles event and she teamed up with the Sensational SatwikSairaj to take on the more experienced pairing of Ko Sung-Hyun&Sikki Reddy. The experienced duo won that encounter 11-9 11-7 and the tie was locked at 1-1.
Victor Axelsen then outclassed B Sai Praneeth 11-6 11-5 in their trump match to leave the Blasters in the driving seat going into the final two match-ups. Ko Sung-Hyun&YooYeonSeong made a confident start in the Mens Doubles taking the first game 11-5 but then Tan Boon Heong&Tan Wee Kiong made an inspired come back in the second game to win 11-5 11-13 8-11.
It was Hyderabad who held all the aces at this juncture despite trailing 3-2 on the night. They had their champion player Carolina Marin up next player her Ladies Singles Trump against the relatively inexperienced Ashwini Ponnappa.
Ashwini had the crowd behind her and rattled off some impressive points against an erratic Olympic champion as she took a surprise lead with the first game in her kitty at 11-9. Carolina came back into the tie with a bang and demolished her opponent 5-11 in the second game to set up the decider.
The final game of the evening had more drama than the entire tie put together and both players had some sensational shots to make their claim for the match. It was the experience of Carolina that came through as she won 8-11 to make it a memorable night for the Hunters. They are up into third in the table with one match against Delhi Acers to play.
Ashwini Ponnappa may have lost the match but she won the hearts of both set of players and received generous applause for her stirring performance. As for Hyderabad, they accomplished their Bengaluru mission, it’s Delhi up next!