Mumbai : Solitaire Shuttlers defeated Rajdhani Royals 3-1 in the finals to become champions of the NSCI Badminton League at the NSCI Badminton Courts, Worli.
Rajdhani Royal had defeated Solitaire Shuttlers earlier in the league, however the Shuttlers had the last laugh in the finals as they breezed through in four matches out of the possible five.
The Shuttlers stepped up to the occasion as they won the first rubber with Neeral Shah & Naresh Mirpuri defeated Mayur Saraf & Nikhil Bhansali in straight sets 21-14, 21-16.
The Shuttlers lost the second rubber with Kavita Jain & Adnan Bearingwala losing to Nikhil Haria & Priyanka Haria in straight sets 14-21, 11-21.
The third rubber witnessed the most crucial tie of the finals with the best pairs of Nikhil Mansukhani &Amey Vrundhawan and Mayur Bhojwani & Sandeep Dhillon for their respective teams. The match was the ultimate test of mental and physical stamina as it went down to the wire. Over the course of three sets the Shuttlers pair Mansukhani & Vrundhawan lost the first set 15-21. However, in spite of being down 06-12, they eventually rallied and clinched the second set 21-18. The final set couldn’t get any closer as Mansukhani & Vrundhawan fought back two match points to win 15-14.
The Shuttlers sealed their fate in the fourth rubber with Shreyas Gandhi & Manish Aggarwal comprehensively defeating Rajendra M & Jeet Kapadia 21-15, 21-14 to become champions.
Badminton World No. 2 Srikanth Kadambi graced the occasion and awarded the winning team the championship trophy.
On speaking to Kadambi, he said “Domestic leagues like the NBL are good sign and step forward for the sport as it gives an opportunity for people and badminton to improve. The future of badminton is on the rise as unknown names are given a platform to arrive on these courts.”