Strong performances from both Saina Nehwal and Kidambh Srikanth powered the Awadhe Warriors in to the semi finals of the Premier Badminton League 2017. (PBL 2017: Saina Nehwal’s Awadhe Warriors reach semi finals !)
London Olympics Bronze medalist Nehwal and 2014 China Open champion Srikanth won their respective matches quite convincingly as help Awadhe reach the last four.
Srikanth shocked Rio bronze medalist Viktor Axelsen in their singles match while Saina Nehwal brushed aside Hong Kong’s Cheung Ngan Yi in her singles match.
Earlier in the evening, Bengaluru had kept their hopes of reaching the last four intact when Sourabh Varma beat Vincent Wong Wing Ki in the first match.
But Awadhe Warriors’ mixed doubles team of Savitree Amitrapai and Bodin Issara helped ensure that there were no more hiccups along the way. (PBL 2017: Saina Nehwal’s Awadhe Warriors reach semi finals !)
This win put the Awadhe Warriors at the top of the table with 18 points followed by the Mumbai Rockets with 16 points and the Bengaluru Blasters with 11 points.
In the second men’s singles of the evening, 2014 China Open winner Kidambth Srikanth stunned World No 3 Axelsen 11-9 11-9 to give a 2-1 lead to the Awadhe Warriors.
Then in what was the major match for the Warriors, former World No 1 Saina Nehwal then squeezed out a come-from-behind 9-11, 11-5 ,11-5 win over Cheung in the women’s singles tie. This gave Awadhe the two crucial points to make it 4-1.
Bengaluru’s Sung Hyun Ko and Yeon Seong then managed to upstage Warriors’ men’s doubles pair of V Shem Goh and Markis Kido 6-11, 11-9 ,11-6 in the last match of the tie, which was also the trump match for Bengaluru, to grab two crucial points but it was not enough. (PBL 2017: Saina Nehwal’s Awadhe Warriors reach semi finals !)