Pune Aced, Now Chennai Smashed – Hunters on a Roll

What happens once, they say can always happen the second time. And it almost did for the Hyderabad Hunters as they steamrolled the Chennai Smashers to a 5-0 victory in their second match of the Premier Badminton League Season 4.

Brimming with confidence and roared on the Hunters Army – the Hunters stepped into the arena with purpose and made their intentions clear right from the word go. They put together a string of excellent performances and won the big points consistently to give their southern neighbours a good run for their money.

In the opening match of the evening – which was also the Hunters’ trump match – Bodin Isara and Kim Sa Rang – lost a tightly contested first game but came back strongly to win handsomely in three games. Lee Hyun Il then pressed home the advantage against WF Chong as he won in straight games 15-11 15-13.

This put the Hunters 3-0 up and the skipper PV Sindhu had the opportunity to put the tie to bed against Sung Ji Hyun. The Chennai icon player had plans of her own though. With Sindu winning the opening game, Sung Ji turned the tables in the second one to take the game into the decider. And then Sung Ji completed the comeback with a 15-7 win in the third game.

The tide suddenly seemed to have turned and with a trump match up their sleeve, Chennai seemed to have every chance of taking the tie away from the Hunters. Mark Caljouw stepped up to take the court against P Kashyap; and he seemed to have things under control with a game in the bag and a handsome lead in the second.

But Parupalli Kashyap is a veteran of many a fight and he wasn’t going to meekly surrender this crucial match. He came roaring back to take five points on the bounce, and eventually taking the game with a golden point at 14-all. Going into the final game – Kashyap had all the momentum and Mark was clearly rattled having the lead slip through his fingers.

Both players played some stunning shots in the decider, but also made some errors. The game went all the way down to the wire but Mark Caljouw held his wits together – winning the game and the match in three hotly contested games. A roaring celebration ensued, with him ripping his shirt off for good measure.

The fans in the arena roared in approval. And Mark drank in all the adulation. Hunters went 4-0 up on the night. The tie had been won, with a match to spare!

Kim Sa Rang returned to the court for the final match of the evening with Eom Hye Won and they were up against Chris Adcock & Gabby Adcock. A feisty contest was on the cards and the first game was decided in favour of the Smashers with a golden point. But Kim & Eom were determined enough to mount a comeback and win the match in three games.