BANGALORE, August 25: Jwala Gutta returned to action as Krrish Delhi Smashers overcame a fighting Banga Beats 4-1 in the Bangalore-leg of the Indian Badminton League here on Sunday.
On the second day at a semi-packed Sree Kanteerava Indoor Stadium, Delhi chalked out a crucial win to brighten their chances to make the last four.
Post this victory, the Gutta-led side jumped two rungs to fourth with 13 points, replacing Awadhe Warriors in the points table.
In the opening encounter of the evening, Banga Beats' icon player Parupalli Kashyap hardly broke any sweat to outplay B. Sai Praneeth of Delhi 21-15, 21-11.
After the one-sided win, the Hyderabadi claimed, “I played my best today. I just kept my cool throughout and won the game.
Beating a senior player like me is something every player like Sai would want because I am more experienced than him.”
In the women's singles clash, Delhi's Jindapon Nichaon staged a fightback to level the scoreline 1-all by defeating Bangalore's Carolina Marin 17-21, 21-15, 11-9.
An elated Thai shuttler said, “I played an attackers game and pushed the shuttle very hard. This helped me gain advantage over Carolina.
"This is the first time I am playing in India and the cheering crowd boosted my confidence,” added Nichaon.
In the third clash of the evening, men's doubles duo Koo Kien Keat and Tan Boon Heong helped Delhi take a 2-1 lead by overcoming a stiff challenge from Bangalore's Carsten Mogensen and Akshay Dewalkar.
The Malaysian pair waged a late fightback to beat the Indo-Danish duo 21-11, 20-21, 11-7.
After a hard fought win, the 27-year-old Keat said, “Our aim was to try and win every point. The shuttle was not as fast as yesterday which really helped us in winning the match,” he said.
Meanwhile, local lad Arvind Bhat replaced the injured Yu Hun in the Bangalore-based side to make his IBL debut against HS Prannoy.
Banga Beats had planned to replace Hun with Denmark's Jan O Jorgensen in the last minute. The Dane, who was not purchased during the player auctions, landed in the city on Sunday morning.
After learning about the controversial move, Delhi even threatened to withdraw from the Bangalore-leg matches.
The pressure was on the 34-year-old veteran Bhat, who was pitted against the 21-year-old Prannoy.
Bhat lost the first 18-21 and then made a remarkable comeback to clinch the second 21-7.
In the decider, Bhat succumbed to a 11-8 defeat at the hands of the youngster.
A delighted Player of the Tie Prannoy said, “My last time’s loss had made me more determined to win this match. I was planning to play more freely but when the change in player happened and I realized I was playing against Arvind Bhat, I worked hard and improved my shots.
"I also made a lot of mistakes in my bodyline but the suggestions from the coach helped me win the game,” said Prannoy, after powering Delhi record a 3-1 victory.
The final mixed doubles game turned out to be an important clash for Delhi with an eye on the points table.
Icon player Gutta returned to the court to join partner V. Diju against Bangalore's Carsten Mogensen and Carolina Marin.
Brimming in high on confidence, the Indian pair beat Mogensen and Marin 21-16, 16-21, 11-9.
Results: Delhi Smashers bt Banga Beats 4-1
Men's singles: P. Kashyap (BB) bt B. Sai Praneeth (DS) 21-15, 21-11.
Women's singles: Jindapon Nichaon (DS) bt Carolina Marin (BB) 17-21, 21-15, 11-9.
Men's doubles: Koo Kien Keat/ Tan Boon Hoeng (DS) bt Carston Mogensen/ Akshay Dewalkar (BB) 21-11, 20-21, 11-7.
Men's singles: Arvind Bhat (BB) lost to HS Prannoy (DS) 18-21, 21-7, 8-11
Mixed doubles: Jwala Gutta/ V. Diju (DS) bt Carsten Mogensen/ Carolina Marin 21-16,16-21, 11-9.