Chennai, January 7 – World No.18 Lee Hyun Il of Korea registered a thrilling 13-15, 15-9, 15-14 victory over Parupalli Kashyap to guide Hyderabad Hunters to an early 2-0 lead against Awadhe Warriors in the Vodafone Premier Badminton League at the Jawaharlal Nehru Indoor Stadium here on Sunday.
Hyderabad are lying at the bottom of the table with eight points and they need to win the tie with a huge margin to stay alive in contention for a semis spot, while Awadhe who are placed second with 13 points also need to score as many points possible as this is their last tie and all the others teams are breathing fiercely down their neck.
Kashyap who has been in stellar form in this season started off the proceeding on a high note with his power smashes proving no match for the 37-year-old Korean. It was a treat to watch the way the Indian way moving on the court and firing in his winners. Even though the Lee gave him a tough fight it was the Indian who bagged the opening game.
In the second game, Lee got his act together and was quick off the blocks to head into the interval with an 8-3 lead. After the breather, Kashyap won three points on the trot to reduce the lead and was not in the mood to go down so easily. However, Lee maintained his stronghold on the game and denied to squander the early lead and raced to seal it to force into decider.
Lee, who is the oldest player to win a match in the Vodafone PBL came out a different player altogether and got on to the front-foot from the word go. He raced to an 8-3 lead and his combination of smashes, drop and deceptive cross court hits were too much the Indian to handle. Even, though Kashyap tried to stay on in the match after the change of ends and saved six match points, Lee did not give him any chance of a comeback and cruised to win the match and give his side the advantage.
Hyderabad logged in the first point of the day after their men’s doubles pair of Markis Kido/Yoo Yeon Seong after they came back from a game down to win 14-15, 15-6, 15-11 against the combination of Or Ching Chung/Tang Chun Man.
Results – Incomplete
MD – Markis Kido/Yoo Yeon Seong bt Or Ching Chung/Tang Chun Man – 14-15, 15-6, 15-11
MS – Lee Hyun Il bt Parupalli Kashyap – 13-15, 15-9, 15-14
MS – Sai Praneeth vs Kidambi Srikanth [T]
WS – Carolina Marin [T] vs Saina Nehwal
XD – Satwiksairaj Rankireddy/Pia Zebediah vs Hendra Setiawan/Christinna Pedersen