Hyderabad Hunters Demolish Pune, as they Begin Title Defense

Ask any Championship winning side, and they’d tell you that defending a title ranks as one of the hardest things to do. It’s relatively easier to reach the summit, but to stay there you have to ward of both challenges as well as the constant pressure that comes with being the champions.

But once the evidence of there demolition of Pune 7 Aces, someone clearly forgot to handover this note to the PBL Season 3 Champions – the Hyderabad Hunters.

The Hunters laid down an emphatic marker of defending their title with a stunning resulting on the opening day of PBL Season 4. A great debut, some tight matches, a legend raking up wins as is his wont, and the skipper winning the marquee clash – the evening had everything and more that the die-hard Hunters fans would have wanted.

Mark Caljouw opened the night with a tense encounter against Lakshya Sen, who despite his young years has quite a pedigree. He took the opening game and threatened to run away with a big win against his more fancied opponent. But staged a come back to take the second game and level things up. The third game also followed a similar pattern but once again Mark put all his experience into play to win the thrilling encounter.

The first match proved to be the template for the Pune 7 Aces, as they were so near and yet so far from win. Every they threatened to close a match, the Champions would find the extra gear to wrest victory.

BodinIsara& Kim Sa Rang, took the trump against Mathias Boe& Chirag Shetty to put clear distance between the Champions and the debutants; while Lee Hyun outclassed Brice Leverdez to put the tie beyond Pune’s reach.

Then of course, nothing is over until its really over and the fourth match of the tie was the one everyone had been waiting for – Sindhu v Marin – the clash of the titans, the ex-skipper v the current one, the honorary Hyderabadi v the resident Hyderabadi. The encounter didn’t disappoint one bit. Marin taking the first game. Sindhu coming out all guns blazing to take the second. And a tight third game, going down to the wire, before the Hunters skipper romped home.

With the score line reading 5-(-1), the Pune 7 Aces had one last chance to step out of the red and lend a bit more respect to the scorecard. But the Champions were not letting off the pedal and they romped home to a win in two games straight!

That completed a comprehensive and an emphatic win for the Champions, who must be clear favorites now to defend their title. However, its early doors and plenty could change between now and the second week of January, and the Hunters know it all too well. Confident, yet cautious – the Hunters will head home having put behind the Mumbai jinx for now.

They’ve broken the first jinx, let’s hope they break the final one (no champion has ever defended their PBL title) come January 13th