A stellar performance from Indonesian shuttler Tommy Sugiarto helped the Delhi Acers beat Chennai Smashers 4-3 in the 1st semifinal of the Premier Badminton League. In the Trump match, Sugiarto defeated Frenchman Brice Leverdez 15-11 15-14 and as a result, sent the Acers into the final. In the summit clash, they will meet the winner of semifinal 2 which is to be played between Awadhe Warriors and Mumbai Rockets on Friday.
Ajay Jayaram, Koo Keat Kien and Tan Boon Heong put Delhi Acers into lead:
The first match of the evening was played in the men’s doubles category and the Malaysian pair of Koo Keat Kien and Tan Boon Heong picked up the first point for Delhi as the beat the duo of Pranav Chopra and Chris Adcock 15-10 15-14. The men’s singles was up next and Ajay Jayaram made a staggering comeback after being a set down against Sony Kuncoro. He won 14-15 15-10 15-7 and the Delhi Acers now had a comfortable 2-0 lead.
The third match was played in the mixed doubles category. While the Chennai Smashers fielded Chris Adcock and Pia Zebadiah, Chris’ wife Gabrielle Adcock was paired alongside Koo Keat Kien for the Acers. The Smashers managed to pull one back in this match as they won in straight sets with scores of 15-9 15-14.
Chennai Smashers’ captain PV Sindhu played the Trump match for her team and was pitted against the young and talented PC Thulasi. When a team calls for a Trump match, winning the game gives them two points and losing will result in a minus one. Sindhu was at her devastating best on the night of the semifinal as she wrapped up the fixture in no time, winning 15-6 15-7.
Tommy Sugiarto stars in Trump game:
With Chennai leading 3-2, the Delhi Acers called for a Trump match in the final encounter of the day and they sent in their best man Tommy Sugiarto against Brics Leverdez. World no. 1 Sugiarto comfortably took the first set 15-11 but Leverdez battled hard in the second set and denied his opponents as many as three match points. With the score tied at 14-14, it was all down to the decider point and Tommy Sugiarto, like always, kept his cool and clinched the point for his team. He has been the best player of the Premier Badminton League so far and has remained unbeaten throughout the tournament.
Match summary: Delhi Acers beat Chennai Smashers 4-3