India Premier Badminton League: Lee Chong Wei falls in upset loss to Kidambi Srikanth

India Premier Badminton League's "Trump Match" rule could be confusing. (photo: PBL)

Kuala Lumpur: Former World No. 1 Lee Chong Wei who represented the Hyderabad Hunters lost to World No. 9 Kidambi Srikanth 12-15, 15-6 and 7-15 after making his debut in India’s Premier Badminton League.India Premier Badminton League's "Trump Match" rule could be confusing. (photo: PBL)

Hyderabad Hunters already won the tie with 3-1 against Bengaluru Topguns when Kidambi Srikanth and Lee Chong Wei took the court for the second men’s singles match. Even though audience was cheering “Lee Chong Wei, Lee Chong Wei” during the match, Srikanth kept his cool to dismiss Lee 15-12, 6-15, 15-7 in a match that has no impact on the overall results by reducing the lead of Hyderabad to 3-2.

The introduction of Trump Match scoring format for this season’s India’s Premier Badminton League could be confusing to a lot of badminton fans worldwide, will try to explain it using the tie between Hyderabad Hunters and Bengaluru Topguns.

In the first match of the tie, Suo Di of Bengaluru Topguns stunned her 59th ranked opponent Supanida Katethong of Hyderabad and gave Bengaluru Topguns a 1-0 lead after she defeated Katethong 15-8, 15-11.

Then, Carsten Mogensen and Markis Kido became the first players in the tournament to win their ‘Trump Match’ thus helping the Hunters reversed the score at 1-0 lead. The Denmark-Indonesian pair beat Malaysian duo Hoon Thien How and Lim Khim Wah 13-15, 15-9, 15-14.

So, in this match, Bengaluru Topguns has selected Hoon Thien How and Lim Khim Wah to play in “Trump Match”. If Hoon/Lim win, they would seal the tie for Bengaluru with 3-0, because the team that has called for the Trump gets 2 points for win and would get -1 points for loss. In this case, Hoon/Lim’s loss wiped out the 1 point earned by Suo Di in the first women’s singles match. Hyderabad Hunters could only get 1 point from this victory because they were not the team that called the “Trump match”.

Then, the 2014 Commonwealth Games gold medalist Parupalli Kashyap who played for Hyderabad Hunters performed up to his billing and defeated Sameer Verma in straight games 15-14, 15-13. Hyderabad Hunters got two points out of this match as Hyderabad Hunters has picked this match as ‘Trump Match’, which meant Hunters were up 3-0 on points and thus any result in the last two matches wouldn’t stop them from winning the fixture.

Again, in this match, since Hyderabad Hunters was the team to call the match between Parupalli Kashyap and Sameer Verma a “Trump Match”, Hyderabad would get 2 points if they win and -1 point if they lost, and their opponent would get 1 point for win and 0 point for loss. Kashyap’s victory did exactly what his team needed, making 2 extra points by cementing the victory for Hyderabad Hunter with 3-0.

Under the “Trump Match” rule, if both the teams place the trump on the same match, then for both of them +2 or -1 scoring will apply for win or loss respectively.

In the fourth match of the tie, India’s top women’s doubles partners Jwala Gutta (Hyderabad Hunters) and Ashwini Ponnapaa (Bengaluru Topguns) faced-off against each other in the mixed doubles tie. Pairing up with JF Nielse, Ashwini trumped the pair of Jwala and Kido in straight games with 15-13, 15-13. This victory cut Hyderabad’s lead to 3-1, before Srikanth beat Lee Chong Wei to end the tie with 2-3 in favor of Hyderabad Hunters.


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