PBL 2020: Satwiksairaj Rankireddy, Lakshya Sen inspire Chennai Superstarz to victory over Hyderabad Hunters

  • The 19-year-old Satwiksairaj Rankireddy impressed with his aggressive brand of badminton in partnership with Jessica Pugh.

  • The home team was 4-0 up with PV Sindhu's match against Gayatri Gopichand and a men's doubles game still to come.

  • Singles victories by Tommy Sugiarto and the promising Lakshya Sen, also ensured Chennai start the season on a rousing note.

Chennai: Chennai Superstarz opened their campaign in the fifth season of Premier Badminton League with a dominant win over Hyderabad Hunters on Monday.

 PBL 2020: Satwiksairaj Rankireddy, Lakshya Sen inspire Chennai Superstarz to victory over Hyderabad Hunters

Satwiksairaj Rankireddy stretches to return against Hyderabad Hunters on Day 1 of PBL 2020

The home team was 4-0 up with world champion PV Sindhu's match against Gayatri Gopichand and a men's doubles game still to come.

Singles victories by Tommy Sugiarto and the promising Lakshya Sen, apart from the mixed doubles win by Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Jessica Pugh, ensured the Chennai Superstarz start the season on a rousing note.

Appearing in Chennai's yellow jersey for the first time, the 19-year-old Satwik impressed with his aggressive brand of badminton in partnership with Jessica Pugh against Hyderabad's pair of Sikki Reddy and Vladimir Ivanov, and won 15-6, 13-15, 15-13.

The World No 11 was at the top of his game against his previous team as the home pair cruised to a 15-6 lead.

Sikki and Ivanov, both PBL veterans, knew the right moment to lift their games and levelled the encounter at one game apiece in a thrilling opener.

While they had control in the initial stages of the decider and led 8-4, it needed a spark from Thailand Open champion Rankireddy to get themselves back into contention at 12-12.

The Hunters duo was able to save one match point before Rankireddy and Pugh wrapped it up 15-6, 13-15, 15-13 in front of a roaring home crowd that witnessed a celebratory dance from Rankireddy.

With a polished performance, former world championships bronze medallist Sugiarto put Chennai Superstarz in command with a 15-11, 15-10 win over Sourabh Verma.

Hyderabad's Priyanshu Rajawat made a debut to remember against Chennai's Lakshya, though in a losing cause.

Rajawat's brilliant anticipation skills and his backhand returns put the World No 30 in a spot of bother as he stormed back to take the second game after losing the first.

In a breathtaking final game that had the entire stadium on the edge, Sen won a dramatic deciding point after the two were locked at 14-14 to gift the 15-6, 13-15, 15-14 win to the hosts.

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Updated Date: Jan 20, 2020 23:33:34 IST