Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk did the star turn as North Eastern Warriors pulled off a 4-3 win over defending champions Bengaluru Raptors in a Premier Badminton League match in Chennai on Tuesday.
With the tie level at 3-3 after four matches, the Thai left-hander scored a 15-7, 15-8 win over Frenchman Brice Leverdez to secure victory.
For the Raptors, world No 2 Tai Tzu Ying put up a masterclass on her return to the PBL as she coasted to an easy 15-7, 15-5 win over rising Indian shuttler Ashmita Chaliha.
In a clash of youth and experience, the former world number one’s brilliant anticipation skills and finesse were too much for the South Asian Games gold medallist to handle even though Chaliha did have her moments.
After trailing 0-4, the youngster rode on her aggression to bag some quickfire points and close the gap between them to two points at 4-6.
It was, however, not enough to thwart PBL5’s joint-costliest player as she dashed Chaliha’s hopes to ease to victory.
Fresh from reaching the semi-finals of the Indonesia Masters, World No 18 Lee Cheuk Yiu defeated India’s B Sai Praneeth 15-14, 15-9 in the second match to level the tie for the Warriors. It was the match that eventually proved costly for Raptors as they would have wanted their star men’s singles shuttler to clinch the game.
Lee won a tight opening game against the world championship bronze medallist and then sailed through the second to register a crucial win.
Earlier, in an enthralling battle between two Olympic medallists, 2016 Rio Olympic silver medallist Chan Peng Soon beat 2008 Olympic champion Lee Yong Dae in the mixed doubles tie to give the defending champions a very good start.
In partnership with multiple World Championship medallist Eom Hye Won, Soon put up a solid display against the Warriors pair of Lee Yong Dae and former World No 1 Kim Ha Na.
In his fourth consecutive appearance at the league, Lee, who recently triumphed at the Malaysia Masters, could not find his champion form as the first match of the tie went in favour of the Raptors 15-8, 15-11.
Both sides won their respective trump matches. For Raptors it was Tai Tzu Ying while Warriors put their money on the men’s doubles pairing where Lee Yong Dae returned to the court for a second time, partnering Bodin Isara to clinch their match in straight games. The pair pummelled Bengaluru’s Arun George and Rian Agung Saputro 15-12, 15-6.