New Delhi: Delhi Dashers set the early pace, taking a 2-1 lead over North Eastern Warriors in the battle for a semi-final spot, as the Hyderabad leg of the third Premier Badminton League got under way on Wednesday.
Tian Houwei led the Delhi charge with a brilliant recovery in his men's singles duel against Tzu Wei Wang before winning 10-15, 15-8, 11-15. The Chinese, ranked 22 in the world, was down 2-8 in the final game but bounced back to clinch it 15-11 and upset the world no. 11.
Wang's defeat was a big blow for the Warriors as it was their trump match which meant they ended up with a negative point. Interestingly, it was their first trump loss of the season, having won all four earlier.
Michelle Li and Shin Baek Cheol had provided a bright start to the Warriors winning their mixed doubles duel against the Delhi pair of Ashwini Ponnappa and Vladimir Ivanov 15-13, 15-11.
But Wing Ki Wong Vincent helped Delhi level scores as he won the day's first men's singles against Ajay Jayaram 15-13, 10-15, 15-12.
The world no. 15 began well by clinching a tight first game 15-13 only to find the Indian stage a fight back in the second with a combination of deft placements and effective smashes.
Jayaram, ranked 38th in the world, went on to pocket the second game 15-12.