|Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk after his victory against P. Kashyap, on Tuesday
Hyderabad: In an upset of sorts, last placed Banga Beats pulled off their biggest victory in the inaugural Indian Badminton League here on Tuesday. Playing Hyderabad Hotshots in the latter’s home, the Bangalore team won 3-2, after trailing 0-2 after the first two singles of the day.
Carsten Mogensen and Aparna Balan defeated Tarun Kona and Pradnya Gadre 18-21, 21-16, 11-9 in the final mixed doubles match to earn victory for their team.
However, the Hotshots remained on top of the table with 17 points, earning them a semi-final berth. Despite their win on Tuesday, Banga Beats remained at the bottom of the pile with 13 points to their credit.
The Hyderabad team will take on Pune Pistons in the first semi-final here on Wednesday. On Thursday, Awadhe Warriors will face Mumbai Masters in Bangalore in the second semi-final.
Talking after her match, Saina said she felt the pressure of playing at home. “Looking at my hometown crowd, I was a little bit under pressure that I have to win the match. In the third game, I fought hard and kept my cool. I am very excited to play the semi-finals here as it will be the first time that I will play a team championship in Hyderabad and am sure we will give our best,” she said.
Earlier, egged on by the home crowd, a Saina Nehwal-inspired Hyderabad Hotshots took a 2-0 lead winning both the opening single matches.
Saina won her match 21-17, 14-21, 11-8 against Ying Tai Tzu, after Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk gave the hosts a cracking start by staving off the challenge of India’s top male shuttler Parupalli Kashyap 21-20, 21-18.
But then Banga Beats fought back to win the men’s doubles and second men’s singles, levelling the issue at 2-2.
Carsten Mogensen and Akshay Dewalkar of Beats beat V Shem Goh and Khim Wah Lim of Hyderabad Hotshots 15-21, 21-15, 11-1 in men’s doubles. That was followed by Jan Jorgensen thrashing Ajay Jayaram 21-11, 21-8 to level the issue. The mixed doubles victory then handed Bangalore the tie.
After giving ample evidence of her touch in the first game, Saina went down easily in the second to give Bangalore a glimmer of hope. However, the third and final game belonged to Saina.
The Hotshots took a 1-0 lead after Saensomboonsuk defeated Kashyap. The two victories enabled Hyderabad to reach the top of the points table.
The keenly-awaited game of the day, the women’s singles match between icon player Saina and Banga Beats’ Ying Tai Tzu began as a close contest with the score being 7-4 at first break.
What followed was a visual treat of powerful smashes, rallies for the spectators as the two seasoned players sweated it out.