Chennai Superstarz notched up a thrilling 4-3 win over Awadhe Warriors to seal their semi-final spot at the fifth Premier Badminton League in Hyderabad on Saturday.
The tie went down to the wire and was decided only in the fifth rubber when Chennai’s Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and his mixed doubles partner Jessica Pugh beat Awadhe’s Christinna Pedersen and Ko Sung Hyun 15-11 13-15 15-14 at the GMC Balayogi SATS Indoor Stadium.
Earlier, world No 32 Lakshya Sen bounced back to winning ways as he beat Subhankar Dey of the Awadhe Warriors 15-7 15-8 in the first match. This was the former Asian Junior champion’s fourth win in five appearances.
Sen’s win was complimented by the 2014 World Championships bronze medallist Tommy Sugiarto who showed the same confidence and conviction in an effortless Trump win for the Superstarz.
The Indonesian, who is yet to lose this season, grabbed his fourth win on the trot as he demolished Wong Wing Ki Vincent 15-10, 15-8.
While Chennai emerged victorious in the two men’s singles rubbers, Awadhe Warriors had the upper hand in women’s singles and men’s doubles in an absorbing encounter.
World No 14 Beiwen Zhang used her experience against rising star Gayatri Gopichand of the Chennai team to post a 15-10, 15-5 win.
The men’s doubles match then turned out to be an engrossing affair as Dhruv Kapila and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy of Chennai edged the Awadhe Trump pair of Ko Sung Hyun and Ivan Sozonov in the initial stages of the match.
But the undeterred Warriors veterans made a stunning comeback in the next two games to claim a 12-15, 15-11, 15-10 win.