New Delhi: All eyes were on Saina Nehwal as the Awadhe Warriors took on Delhi Acers in their own backyard in the Premier Badminton League Season 2 clash, at the Babu Banarasi Das Indoor Stadium in Lucknow on Thursday.
Looking to bounce back after a disappointing start, Saina was up to the mark on the day. She won a hard-fought match against Nitchaon Jindapol of the Acers 14-12, 11-7 to not only get her first win of the league, but also helped the Warriors take a 3-0 advantage over the Acers.
Playing in the second match of the tie, Saina was slow to start as Nitchaon dominated the opening moments to grab a 5-2 lead. Saina recovered after the initial hiccups and reeled a few crucial points to tie the scores at 6-6.
She took two more points and with the scoreboard reading 8-6 in her favour, it looked like Saina was just about to break away. But Nitchaon did not let her opponent off the hook and soon found her serving for the game.
However, she faltered and Saina took advantage to save the game and finally prevailed in the first game.
In the next game, Jindapon took a 3-0 lead but Saina started to move better. As the match progressed, she played some exquisite shots which Jindapol did not have answers to.
Saina sealed the game in no time. The win gave Warriors an extra point as it was a trump match for them.
Earlier, the first match saw the men’s doubles action with V. Shem Goh and Markis Kido of Warriors defeating Akshay Dewalkar and Vladimir Ivanov of Acers 11-4, 11-4.
Shem Goh and Kido dominated early on, taking a quick four-point lead. The Acers fought back but it did not help much as the Goh and Kido wrapped up the match with ease.