Chennai Smashers qualified for the semifinals after beating Bangalore Top Guns 3-2 in the last league match of the Premier Badminton League at Sri Kanteerava Indoor Stadium, in Bengaluru, on Wednesday.
In a rather smart move, Chennai opted for the trump match in their very first game of the tie and won it to make life difficult for the hosts.
Bangalore Top Guns then had to win all their matches to gain five points, excluding the bonus point to sail through the knockout stage.
Chennai's Sony Dwi Kuncoro dashed all the hopes of the hosts after he defeated Sameer Verma in a riveting encounter. Kuncoro won the match 15-10, 10-15, 15-8.
After Kuncoro's triumph, there was no much interest left for the Bangalore side, but played to the delight of the fans by clinching the men's doubles match 15-7, 15-8.
The Bangalore pair of Hoon Thien How and J F Nielse beat Chris Adcoack and Pranaav Chopra.
Srikanth Kidambi then got Bangalore race past Chennai with a 2-1 lead when he overwhelmed his rival Brice Leverdez 15-4, 15-12. The Indian star was too hot for the French shuttler.
For the keepsake, the match between Suo Di and P V Sindhu generated lot of interest among the fans, especially for the Chinese youngster who had been the star performer for Bangalore this season. She had been in the news for having won three matches out of four.
However, the Indian star outplayed Di 15-12, 15-7 in straight games.
Later, Chennai pair of Chris Adcock and Pia Zebadiah prevailed over Ashwini Ponnappa and Joaquim Fisher Nilesen in the mixed doubles tie 15-14, 15-12, thus clinching the tie 3-2.
Delhi Acers ace Mumbai Rockets 4-1
Rajiv Ouseph won the trump match as Delhi Acers pulled off a 4-1 win against Mumbai Rockets.
With the win, Delhi became the table toppers with 20 points ahead of Awadhe Warriors, who are on 17 points. Both teams have qualified for the semifinals.
Rajiv beat his rival R M V Gurusaidutt comfortably 15-7, 15-10 in the fifth match of the tie.
P C Thulasi denied trump match for Mumbai's Ruthvika Gade as the match helped Delhi to bounce back after their mixed doubles pair Akshay Dewalkar and Aparna Balan lost to Kamilla Juhl and Vladimir Ivanov 13-15, 11-15.
Thulasi, in an exciting encounter, beat Ruthvika 15-11, 8-15, 15-13.
After losing the trump match, it was left to H S Prannoy to bring the team back into the tie, but failed to live up to the expectation of the team management as he was undone by great grit displayed by Tommy Sugiarto, who secured 15-8, 15-6 win.
Mumbai were denied a straight set victory by Koo keat Kien and Tan Boon Heong, who clinched the second game 15-12, pushing the match to the decider in an exciting encounter.
The Delhi pair maintained their winning tempo and claimed the decider 15-10 in their favour by trouncing the Mumbai pair, who looked out of sorts after pocketing the first game.