A day after losing to Hyderabad Hunters, North Eastern Warriors bounced back to beat the Mumbai Rockets in the second tie of the double header at the Premier Badminton League held at the GMC Balayogi Sats Indoor Stadium in Hyderabad on Wednesday. The Warriors were in control of the tie right from the start with Michelle Li, Lee Cheuk Yiu and the mixed doubles pair of Lee Yong Dae and Kim Ha Na each fetching a win for the team.

The result meant the former runners-up Rockets are on a four-match losing streak and are yet to open their account in the fifth edition of the PBL.

Michelle Li had stunned world champion PV Sindhu a day ago when the Warriors clashed with the Hyderabad Hunters. It wasn’t much different today as well as the former Commonwealth Games gold medallist staved off a challenge from rising talent Shriyanshi Pardeshi to win the Trump match, 15-9, 15-11.

2020 Indonesia Masters semi-finalist Lee Cheuk Yiu had previously lost both his BWF meetings to 2014 Commonwealth Games champion Parupalli Kashyap with their most recent match happening at the India Open last March. But this time it was a very different version of the North Eastern Warriors shuttler who was riding high on the confidence of a good start to the new season. Yiu’s aggression and quick footwork made life difficult for the Indian who conceded the opening game 12-15.

Kashyap, however, was able to remain close on Lee’s heels at 7-8 in the second game but a barrage of scorching smashes from the Warriors ace took the game away from the Mumbai shuttler. Lee’s pace and power was too much for the Indian to handle as Lee raced away to 14-7.

Kashyap was able to make a late push briefly as he took four points in a row. The Hong Kong ace made no mistake after that as he wrapped up the match 15-12, 15-11 to seal the tie for North Eastern Warriors.

Earlier, the legendary Lee Yong Dae and Kim Ha Na displayed some steely resolve and grit to grind out a 15-7, 5-15, 15-10 win against Mumbai’s Kim Sa Rang and Pia Zebadiah Bernadeth in the mixed doubles rubber.

Pune 7 Aces stun Chennai Superstarz

Chirag Shetty beat Satwiksairaj Rankireddy in a highly-anticipated clash as Pune 7 Aces snapped the winning streak of Chennai Superstarz with a 5-2 victory in the first double header of the Premier Badminton League in Hyderabad on Thursday.

This was the third consecutive win for the high-flying Aces who won four matches in the tie to start the final leg of the league with a bang. The win also enabled Pune (14 points) to climb up to the second spot right behind Chennai Superstarz in the league standings.

The highlight of the day was the showdown between Rankireddy and Shetty, who partnered each other to a historic Thailand Open title win last year. Rankireddy paired with Sumeeth Reddy for Chennai and Shetty partnered with men’s doubles world champion Hendra Setiawan for the Aces.

In the other matches of the day, Commonwealth Games gold medalists Chris and Gabrielle Adcock continued to remain unbeaten with yet another commendable performance. The Pune pair beat Chennai’s Rankireddy and Jessica Pugh 15-10, 15-12.

2019 Thailand Masters champion Loh Kean Yew of Pune inflicted Lakshya Sen his first PBL defeat of the season with a gritty 15-13, 10-15, 15-8 win that tested the nerves and tenacity of both the players.

Pune also won the other men’s singles match of the day with Kazumasa Sakai notching up a 15-10, 15-12 win over Korea Junior Open semi-finalist Sathish Kumar Karunakaran, who impressed on his PBL debut.

The only match that did not go Pune’s way was the women’s singles. Chennai’s Trump Kirsty Gilmour proved a tough hurdle for Pune’s former national champion Rituparna Das as the world No. 30 Scot refused to take her foot off the pedal to win 15-12, 15-6.