Tanongsak, Rituparna take North Eastern Warriors to second consecutive win
Delhi Dashers were in search of their first win in what has been a not so good fourth season of the league for the Season 1 champions. After a 0-5 drubbing at the hands of the Mumbai Rockets and a 1-4 defeat to the Ahmedabad Smash Masters, all they needed was a good start.
However, World No. 32 Evgeniya Kosetskaya failed to give them that and conceded the women’s singles rubber to North Eastern Warriors’ Rituparna Das. Despite being ranked only 55th, the Haldia-born Das never let the gulf in the rankings come in the way.
With team captain Saina Nehwal recovering from a shin injury, she did full justice to the faith that the Warriors had in her. The former Indian national champion, winner of the Polish International this year, smartly kept manoeuvring her higher-ranked opponent around the court to open up her weaker backhand wing and draw errors consistently.
It made a huge dent in the Russian’s confidence level and the Delhi shuttler succumbed to a 13-15, 9-15 defeat.
Liao Min Chun and former World No. 1 Yoo Yeon Seong had been winless in their previous two matches. But the Warriors pair chose the right time to open their account against Delhi’s Chai Biao and Wang Sijie. A lot of poise, patience and heaps of tactical brilliance gifted the men-in-green a 15-9, 15-6 victory that put their team on the path to a win.
It was then left to the Warriors’ former World No. 9 Tanongsak Saensombooksuk to complete the job against Sugiarto. Considering the latter has a 4-2 winning head-to-head record over the left-handed player from Thailand, it was indeed an uphill task for Tanongsak.
But Tanongsak was relentless with his hard smashing that the veteran Indonesian had no answer to. Sugiarto looked subdued from the outset and it only became even more woeful for him as the match progressed for, he injured his hand during the second game.
Despite spraying a few errors towards the end, the Warriors man managed to regroup in time to register a 15-5, 15-12 win en route to an unassailable 3-(-1) lead for the north-eastern team in the tie.