New Delhi: Two-time Olympic silver medallist Lee Chong Wei suffered his second successive loss in a crucial Trump match at the Premier Badminton League (PBL) as Delhi Acers notched up a thrilling 4-1 win over Hyderabad Hunters at the Siri Fort Stadium in Delhi on Thursday.
Women's singles player Supanida K of Thailand, mixed doubles pair of Jwala Gutta and Markis Kido won their respective match but Parupalli Kashyap lost his men's singles match as Hyderabad Hunters lead 2-1 after three matches of the five-match tie.
Two-time silver medallist Lee Chong Wei then took the court in their Trump match hoping to seal the tie in their favour but Tommy dished out a superb game of badminton to not only beat the Malaysian but also hand Delhi a 2-1 lead with their trump match still to go.
Malaysian Men's doubles pair of Koo Keat Kien and Tan Boon Heong then eked out a thrilling win in their trump match to guide Delhi to their first win in the tournament.
It was an electrifying atmosphere at the Siri Fort Stadium which hosted the Delhi leg of the lucrative PBL with music blaring out of the speakers, cheerleaders gyrating during the breaks, neon lights flooding the area and the noise touching a crescendo with the handful of spectators vociferously cheering their teams.
Amidst this deafening noise, Supanida started the proceedings for the Hunters on a positive note when she bounced back from a game down to eke out a thrilling 12-15, 15-9, 15-13 win over Delhi's P C Thulasi in the women's singles to give a 1-0 lead to Hyderabad. After the win Supanida said: "I was down in the first set and I realised my mistakes. A win in the opening match is always a huge boost for the rest of the players. I am happy I won the game."
Commonwealth Games champion Kashyap then locked horns against Delhi Commonwealth Games silver medallist Rajiv Ouseph but the Indian, who is recovering from a torn calf muscle injury, suffered a 9-15 10-15 loss to The England shuttler as the Acers drew level at 1-1.
"I am delighted with this win as we all know how good Kashyap is. Our team lost the first match and with one more loss it would have been really tough for us. I am happy this win allowed us to level the scores," Rajiv said.
Indo-Indonesian mixed doubles pair of Jwala Gutta and Markis Kido then dished out a dominating game to outclass Akshay Dewalkar and Gabrielle Adcock 15-7 15-8 and swell Hyderabad's lead to 2-1.
Former World No 1 Lee then starred in a mouth-watering clash with World no 11 Tommy which was the trump match for Hyderabad. But it was the Indonesian who had the last laugh as he beat Lee 9-15 15-10 15-14 in an edge-of-the-seat thriller.
In a battle of attrition, Lee raced away with the opening match but the Indonesian showed his class when he dominated Lee in the long draining rallies to bounce back in style.
With loud cheering following every point, Lee opened up a slender 4-2 lead early on in the decider but Tommy moved into the break with a fragile 8-7 lead. After the interval, the Indonesian continued to dominate the proceedings to move to 12-7.
However, Lee reeled off three points to narrow the gap but Tommy used his smashes to move into the match point at 14-10. Lee saved four points with Tommy committing a couple of unforced errors but the Indonesian made it up with a brilliant net play to turn the tables against Hyderabad.
Sugiarto said: "It was an incredible game. I lost the first set and I think that proved to be a boon. This motivated me to up my game and go for the kill. I won on his trump match and which means we have bounced back into the Tie. I think we will take the tie from here if all goes in our favour."
In the fifth and final match, which was also Delhi’s Trump match, Malaysian pair of Koo Keat Kien and Tan Boon Heong staved off the challenge from K Nandagopal and Satvik Sai 15-12 14-15 15-13 to grab two crucial points and earn Delhi a 4-1 win.