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Rediff.com  » Sports » Sports Shorts: Warriors shock defending champions Smashers in PBL opener

Sports Shorts: Warriors shock defending champions Smashers in PBL opener

December 23, 2017 20:40 IST

A summary of sports events and sports persons, who made news on Saturday

Kidambi Srikanth

IMAGE: Awadhe Warriors’ Kidambi Srikanth returns a shot. Photograph: PTI Photos

Awadhe Warriors overcame the last-minute pullout of star player Saina Nehwal owing to an injury, as they stunned defending champions Chennai Smashers in the Premier Badminton League (PBL) opener in Guwahati on Saturday.

 

Awadhe won both their men's singles and mixed doubles to take an unassailable 3-0 lead (4-0 on points) in the five-match duel at the Karmabir Nabin Chandra Bordoloi Indoor Stadium.

World No. 3 Kidambi Srikanth downed Frenchman Brice Leverdez 15-12, 15-14 to build upon the successes of Parupalli Kashyap and the mixed doubles pair of Christinna Pedersen and Tang Chun Man earllier.

The resilient Frenchman stretched Srikanth in both the games but the Indian closed out the second via sudden death after they were tied 14-all.

Kashyap won his singles against Daniel S Farid 15-12, 15-8 to give them an additional advantage as Awadhe had ticked this encounter as their Trump Match. The victory gave them two points as against the usual one point for a win.

Earlier, Christinna and Tang provided an ideal start to Awadhe’s campaign by shocking fancied English couple Chris and Gabrielle Adcock 10-15, 15-5, 15-12.

Their successes were roundly cheered by Saina from the bench after she was ruled out with an ankle niggle from the high-voltage meeting against Sindhu.

Robbie Keane strikes winner as ATK beat Delhi Dynamos 1-0

ISL

IMAGE:  ATK’s Robbie Keane and Delhi Dynamos FC defender Rowilson Rodrigues (4) vie for the ball during Indian Super League football match in Kolkata. Photograph: Swapan Mahapatra/PTI Photos

Robbie Keane struck late in the second half to help two-time champions ATK pip Delhi Dynamos 1-0 in an Indian Super League encounter, in Kolkata.

The former Ireland and Spurs player injected life into the game with a spectacular finish in the 78th minute to score his first goal of the season

This was ATK's second win from six matches as they climbed to seventh position in the league table with eight points.

After being routed by Pune 1-4 in their first home appearance of 2017, this was ATK's first home win of the season.

Keane, the 'Player of the Match', celebrated it with a double somersault and gestured with folded hands towards their gallery where co-owner Sourav Ganguly was cheering the side.

An innocuous move from the Conor Thomas saw Bipin Singh create that perfect opportunity for the Irish man by heading down a long ball from the centre of the pitch.

Having seen his assists missed by his teammates, the 37- year-old calmly received the ball, turned around to deceive the Delhi duo of captain Pritam Kotal and Rowilson Rodrigues, before a clinical finish handed Delhi their fifth straight defeat.

Pune City storm into top four with win over Goa

FC Pune City leaped into fourth place after a stunning 2-0 win over table-toppers FC Goa in the Indian Super League (ISL) in Margao.

By dishing out another impressive counter-attacking performance, they snapped the home side's streak of three consecutive wins.

It looked like both teams would cancel each other out until the 72nd minute when Marcelinho threaded a pass forward for Emiliano Alfaro, who clinically buried it past Laxmikant Kattimani. Alfaro had a chance to double the lead two minutes later but his shot didn’t have enough pace and was cleared away.

However, Pune finally had their second goal in the 84th minute when Jonatan Lucca gleefully converted after Mandar Rao Dessai’s clearance deflected into his path.

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