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
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
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
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
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.