B Sai Praneeth helped Hyderabad gain a crucial 1-0 lead against Delhi Dashers in the first semi-final of the third Premier Badminton League at the Gachibowli Indoor Stadium here today. Sai Praneeth hurt Delhi as he downed Tian Houwei 15-9, 15-8 in their Trump match.
The defeat undid their gains from the mixed doubles match and they were back to ground zero. Sai Praneeth, ranked 16, rattled the Chinese World No22, with a flurry of down the line smashes and eased to a straight games victory. Delhi had gained their first success of the evening when Ashwini Ponappa and Vladimir Ivanov overcame te Hyderabad duo of Pia Zebadiah Bernadet and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy 13-15, 15-10, 15-10. Ashiwni and the tall Russian did not have a good start as they lost the first game but the Indian doubles specialist ensured Delhi's comeback with her decisive returns. Once they gained control, Ashwini and Ivanov did let the grip loosen and surged to victory by wrapping up the two games 15-10, 15-10. Hyderabad were in a advantageous position as Carolina Marina was lined up next in theit Trump match. The World No4 has not lost a game in the entire league this season.
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