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PBL 2018 : A look at the 5 best performances from the Chennai Leg

20th Commonwealth Games - Day 2: Badminton
Michelle Li
Sidharth Yadav

The penultimate leg of the 2018 Premier Badminton League was held in Chennai from 5th January till 9th January. The leg consisted of 5 fixtures, and the home team Chennai Smashers played twice as in every other leg. Here is a look at the 5 best performances from the Chennai leg of the PBL -

#5 Michelle Li

The first fixture of the Chennai leg saw high flying Bengaluru Blasters take on North Eastern Warriors. North Eastern Warriors ended up winning the closely contested fixture 3-2.

One of the most exciting matches took place between Michelli Li and Kirsty Gilmour in the women's singles category. Michelle Li, representing the North Eastern Warriors, lost the first game 7-15, but made an incredible comeback to defeat Gilmour 7-15, 15-14 and 15-13. This win in the women's singles category was crucial for North Eastern Warrior as they aim to qualify for the playoffs.

#4 Sourabh Verma

Sourabh Verma
Sourabh Verma

The second fixture of the Chennai leg saw the home side Chennai Smashers take on Ahmedabad Smash Masters.

Although the Smash Masters ended up losing the fixture 1-2, Sourabh Verma's incredible comeback in the men's singles category is worthy of appreciation. Verma faced off against Chennai's Brice Leverdez. Leverdez took the first game 15-12 and was looking to wrap the match up in straight sets. Sourabh Verma however, had other plans and stunned the world number 20 to win the next two games 15-14, 15-12. In a fixture that was majorly dominated by the home side players, Verma's amazing comeback was the highlight for Ahmedabad Smash Masters.

#3 Carolina Marin

Badminton - Olympics: Day 14
Carolina Marin

The reigning Olympic champion is perhaps one of the best players in the league. Carolina Marin looks unstoppable and on 7th January, she helped Hyderabad Hunters demolish Awadhe Warriors.

Hyderabad ended up winning all the 5 matches and defeated Awadhe 6-(-1). Marin faced off against Indian star Saina Nehwal in the women's singles category. Saina Nehwal had a disappointing 2017 and after an impressive comeback in the Lucknow leg, she looked all set to take on Marin. The match however was very close sided and Marin showed everyone why is one of the best female tennis players in the world. The Spaniard showed no mercy and finished the match in two games, winning 15-5, 15-7.

#4 Lee Yang and B Sumeeth Reddy

B Sumeedi Reddy (left)
B Sumeeth Reddy (left)

The second match of the Chennai Smashers took place against Bengaluru Blasters, who lost their first game of the leg 2-3 to North Eastern Warriors.

The men's doubles fixture saw the team of Lee Yang and B Sumeeth Reddy of the Chennai Smashers take on M Boe and KS Rang of the Bengaluru Blasters. The pair from Bengaluru Blasters won the first game 15-8 but the team from Chennai turned it around, winning the next two games 15-14, 15-13. An amazing comeback from the Chennai Smashers in the first game itself, they ended up winning the fixture 3-2, putting a halt to Bengaluru Blasters. Yang and Reddy look like the team to beat in men's doubles.

#5 Tai Tzu Ying

Badminton - Olympics: Day 9
Tai Tzu Ying

The final fixture of the Chennai leg saw Mumbai Rockets take on Ahmedabad Smash Masters.

The women's singles fixture saw world number one Tai Tzu Ying face off against Chinese shuttler Zhang Beiwen. Tzu Ying came into this match on the back of some amazing performances earlier in the season, and started off as the favorite to win the match. The result of the match was as everyone expected, the Taiwanese shuttler won the match in straight sets 15-9, 15-12. Ahmedabad Smash Masters won the fixture 5-0 and won 4 of 5 games played. TT Ying's performance against Zhang showed everyone why she is as good as the likes of Marin and Sindhu.

Edited by Brett Shaw

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