Lee, Baun power Mumbai Masters to 4-1 win over Delhi Smashers
Mumbai: World no 1 Lee Chong Wei and former women's no 1 Tine Baun powered Mumbai Masters to a comprehensive 4-1 victory over Krissh Delhi Smashers in the Indian Badminton League at the NSCI Stadium courts here.
Lee, who joined Mumbai after missing the team's first two away ties, eased his way past his compatriot Daren Liew in the first men's singles late last night before All England women's champion Tine Baun followed suit to provide a flying 2-0 start to Mumbai.
Lee, who missed Mumbai's first two ties against Banga Beats and Pune Pistons as he joined the team just before this clash, raced away to a 21-12 21-16 victory over Liew, ranked world no. 17, in 35 minutes to help the hosts take a 1-0 lead.
Baun, who retired from international badminton after winning her third All England title in March and is ranked 11th in the BWF rankings, crushed former national champion Arundhati Pantawane, ranked 54th, 21-11 21-13 in just over half an hour to increase Mumbai's advantage.
Delhi narrowed Mumbai's lead to 2-1 when their top Malaysian men's doubles combination of Kon Kiet Keat and Tan Boon Hoeng, world no.4, rallied after dropping the opening game to defeat the young Indian duo of B Sumeet Reddy and Manu Attri 14-21 21-15 11-7.
However, Mumbai's gamble of fielding European champion Marc Zweibler instead of the successful Russian Vladimir Ivanov came good as the German dropped his opening game against young Indian rival B Sai Praneeth before pulling up his socks to eke out a thrilling 18-21 2-10 11-9 win in the second men's singles clash and give the hosts the winning lead.
Having sewed up the tie, Lee and Baun combined forces to clinch the last clash the mixed doubles match – by overcoming Delhi's pair of V Diju and Prajakta Sawant 21-18 15-21 11-5.
This was Mumbai's second victory in the league, having earlier defeated Banga Beats before losing to state rivals Pune Pistons. The home team's points tally has risen to 11 while Delhi, who suffered their second loss, have 7 to their credit.