New Delhi, Jan 15: Cheni Smashers emerged the 2017 Premier Badminton League (PBL) champions after defeating Mumbai Rockets 4-3 in a pulsating summit clash at the jampacked Siri Fort Indoor Stadium here on Saturday.
The stage was set for a perfect fil with the result still hanging till the last game before Thailand’s Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk came from behind to clinch the second men’s singles tie 9-11, 11-7, 11-3 against Ajay Jayaram to help Cheni clinch the title.
Earlier, Cheni were off to a superb start with the English husband-wife combo of Chris Adcock and Gabrielle Adcock convincingly winning their Trump mixed doubles match 11-9, 11-6 against the Mumbai duo of Nipithphon Phuangphuapet and diezda Zieba.
Next up was the women’s singles match between World No.6 P.V. Sindhu and World No.3 Sung Ji Hyun, which the 2016 Rio Olympics silver medallist won 11-8, 11-8.
Trailing 0-3, Mumbai faced a do-or-die situation in their Trump men’s doubles match between the South Korean-Thai combo of Lee Yong Dae and Nipithphon Phuangphuapet and Cheni pair of Chris Adcock and Mads Pieler Kolding.
Lee and Nipithphon raised Mumbai’s hopes by taking a slender 6-5 lead into the break of the first game until the English-Danish duo bounced back to equal the scores at 7-7 and went on to lead 9-8 before the Mumbai boys kept their cool to clinch it 12-10.
Continuing their domition in the second game, the Asian pair took a substantial 6-2 lead at the break to consolidate it further to 9-6 and give Mumbai the upper hand in the tie. Lee and Nipithphon then added two more points quickly to clinch the game 11-6 and save Mumbai from further embarrassment.
Mumbai made it 3-3 as 2016 Swiss Open gold medallist H.S. Prannoy beat Cheni’s Parupalli Kashyap 11-4, 8-11, 11-8 in the first men’s singles ties, to extend his unbeaten streak to seven matches in the PBL.
With both the teams poised at 3-3, the second men’s singles game between Jayaram and Saensomboonsuk turned out to be the decider of the title.
Jayaram took the first game 11-9 only for the 26-year-old Thailand shuttler to bounce back in the next two games to take the title from Mumbai’s grasps. IANS