Malnad Falcons and Mangalore Sharks opened their account with fine victories in the Super League stage of the Grand Prix Badminton League (GPBL), being played at the Karnataka Badminton Association, here on Thursday.
While the Falcons scored an upset 6-1 win over Mandya Bulls to move to the top of the leaderboard, the Sharks registered a superb comeback victory over KGF Wolves 4-1 to be placed second.
Wolves were in trouble straight away losing their opening w'men's singles match and the men's doubles match which was also a trump match for them.
But Nares Iyer pulled one back winning his singles tie which went to the wire and the mixed doubles pair of Suhas V. and Amrutha P. won the mixed doubles against the fancied pair of Raghu Mariswamy and Vijetha Harish which was a trump match for the Sharks.
Tied at 1-1 after the penultimate match, the trio of Hemanth Gowda, Prakash Raj and Suhas V. garnered three points out of the Super Match to take their team to victory.
In the earlier match, Bulls' Ananya Praveen upset the fancied Drithi Yateesh to put them ahead while their men's doubles team of Asith Surya and Madhusudan beat the pair of Pruthvi K. Roy and Venkatesh Prasad to make it 2-0. Falcons' icon player Mithun Manjunath grabbed two points in the men's singles winning their trump tie to restore parity.
In the biggest upset match of the tournament so far, Shamanth Rao Kidiyoor and Drithi Yateesh pulled off a brilliant win against the pair of Sai Pratheek and Ananya Praveen in the mixed doubles which was called a trump match by the Bulls.
Mithun, Pruthvi and Shamanth then jelled together to grab the three points at stake in the Super match to close out the tie at 6-1.
Malnad Falcons beat Mandya Bulls 6-1 (WS: Dhrithi Yatheesh lost to Ananya Praveen 15-12, 12-15, 10-15; MD: Pruthvi Roy/Venkatesh Prasad lost to Ashith Surya/Madhusudhn M 5-15, 15-8, 12-15; MS: Mithun Manjunath (Trump) bt Anirudh Deshpande 15-7, 15-7; MXD: Shamanth Kidiyoor/Dhrithi Yateesh bt Sai Pratheek/Ananya Praveen (Trump) 13-15, 15-11, 15-14; SM: Pruthvi Roy/Mithun Manjunath/Shamanth Kidiyoor bt Ashith Surya/Sai Pratheek/Madhusudhn M 21-18)
KGF Wolves beat Mangalore Sharks 4-1 (WS: Gloria Vinayakumar lost to Prerana N Shet 8-15, 15-14, 10-15; MD: Hemantha Gowda/Prakash Raj (Trump) lost to Kushal Raj/Sachin C 8-15, 10-15; MS: Nares Iyer bt Jayanth Gopal 15-7, 14-15, 15-13; MXD: Vijetha Harish/Raghu Mariswamy bt Amritha P/Suhas Gowda (Trump) 15-12, 15-13; SM: Hemantha Gowda/Prakash Raj/Suhas V bt Raghu Mariswamy/Kushal Raj/Sachin C 21-16)
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