Tie No. 7 of the Premier Badminton League (PBL) 2018 presents a clash of heavyweights as the Ahmedabad Smash Masters meet the Hyderabad Hunters at the Siri Fort Sports Complex in New Delhi on Friday. And it throws up a big face-off between two of the world’s best women’s singles players, which will be the cynosure of all eyes.
Ahmedabad’s World No. 1 Tai Tzu Ying takes on the former World No. 1 Carolina Marin, who will don the Hyderabad jersey. The Chinese Taipei ace leads their head-to-head meeting 5-4 but it is interesting to note that their last four encounters have all ended in favour of Tai.
Ever since Marin lost her sharpness and injuries took a toll on her health, it has been Tai who has dominated their rivalry. And it’s hard to imagine today’s result to be anything different.
The Spanish southpaw is still recovering from the hip injury that cost her a chance to play at the World Superseries Finals in Dubai. In contrast, it has been a season to remember for Tai, who won as many as five Superseries titles.
In Ahmedabad’s opener against the North Eastern Warriors, Tai dropped just 16 points en route to a commanding victory. Marin too had it easy against the very same player -- Michelle Li -- and won her match in straight games, conceding 20 points.
It will thus be interesting to see them squaring off in front of the Delhi crowd. Even though Tai is the favourite, one should always expect Marin to make it tough.
In the other matches of the day, Ahmedabad’s HS Prannoy will be one star to watch. The Kerala shuttler is on an eight-match winning streak in PBL and it is hard to see anyone stopping him anytime soon.
Prannoy will likely take on Hyderabad’s B Sai Praneeth, which will be quite a treat for Indian badminton lovers.
Here is all the information you need to know
Tournament name: Premier Badminton League Season 3
Venue: Siri Fort Indoor Stadium, New Delhi
Date: Friday, December 29, 2017
Ahmedabad Smash Masters vs Hyderabad Hunters at 7.00pm IST
Channel: Star Sports 1/Star Sports 1 HD
Livestream information: Star Sports Hotstar
Ahmedabad Smash Masters - HS Prannoy, Sourabh Verma, Siril Verma, Tai Tzu Ying, Sri Krishna Priya Kudaravalli, Law Cheuk Him, Lee Chun Hei Reginald, K Nandagopal, Kamilla Rytter Juhl, Stefani Stoeva.
Hyderabad Hunters - B Sai Praneeth, Lee Hyun Il, Rahul Yadav Chittaboina, Carolina Marin, Rasika Raje, Satwiksairaj Rankireddy, Yoo Yeon-Seong, Markis Kido, Pia Zebadiah Bernadeth, Anoushka Parikh.