Lakshya Sen and Tommy Sugiarto won their singles while Dhruv Kapila and Jessica Pugh triumphed in mixed doubles to take Chennai Superstarz to a 4-3 victory against Mumbai Rockets on Day 3 of the Star Sports Premier Badminton League 2020 at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium here.
Having started the fifth season of PBL on a winning note, the Chennai franchise has now built a two-match unbeaten streak. The Chennai shuttler, Lakshya had never met World No. 49 Lee Dong Keun before but that mattered little as the World No. 30 was at the top of his game throughout the match against the Mumbai ace.
The 18-year-old was made to work hard for his win in Chennai’s first tie on Monday, January 20, but this time he made no mistake. In a solid display that showed his maturity and fearlessness in oodles, Sen produced a brilliant array of smashes to take the first game away from the Korean. Having won a staggering five titles in 2019, Sen was in no mood to relent. The second game too went the same way with the Indian stamping his authority right from the start to secure a 15-12, 15-10 win for the Superstarz.
In a riveting match that was also the Trump for the hosts, former World Championships bronze medallist Tommy Sugiarto stormed back after losing the first game to edge Mumbai’s Parupalli Kashyap 14-15, 15-10, 15-7. The two haven’t met on the BWF World Tour since 2012 with the Indonesian having a slight edge of 4-3 in their rivalry.
He faltered initially with Kashyap eking out a hard-fought opening game 15-14. But the Chennai ace found his rhythm soon after and rebounded for a 14-15, 15-10, 15-7 victory. With that being a Trump win, Chennai Superstarz wrapped up the tie without any hassle.
Earlier, Dhruv Kapila and Jessica Pugh played an outstanding match to upset the much-fancied Mumbai Rockets pair of Pia Zebadiah and Kim Gi Jung 15-10, 15-14. The second game was a test of nerves for both but the Chennai duo emerged with flying colours under pressure. The men’s doubles Trump pair of Kim Gi Jung and Kim Sa Rang brought the first win of the day for the Mumbai brigade. The Koreans never took their feet off the pedal and sailed away to a 15-9, 15-12 win against Dhruv Kapila and Sumeeth Reddy.
In an exciting face-off between two of the fastest rising youngsters, Mumbai’s Shreyanshi Pardeshi showed her grit and resilience to record a 14-15, 15-5, 15-13 win over Chennai’s Gayatri Gopichand.