PBL 2018: Mumbai Rockets move to semifinals after defeating Chennai Smashers
Sameer Verma's unbeaten run in the Premier Badminton League (PBL) 2018 helped Mumbai Rockets qualify for the semifinals after their victory over Chennai Smashers. The Rockets defeated Smashers 5-0 in the Tie 19 of the league at The Arena by SE TransStadia, Ahmedabad.
Struggling in the beginning with Kashyap's footwork, Verma was trailing 5-8 after losing the first game. However, the 24-year old took a 10-8 lead with some hard-hitting shots. He went on to win the second game 15-13 and take it to the decider. It was an easy third game for Sameer as he went on to win the match 12-15, 15-13, 15-9, and taking two points for winning the Trump Match for his team.
Prior to Verma's win, Mumbai were the dominant team from the beginning as Anders Antonsen began the proceedings with a 15-14, 15-11 win over Rajiv Ouseph. Chennai received a big blow after their mixed doubles pair of Chris and Gabby Adcock lost their trump match to Pia Bernadeth and Kim Gi Jung. The Adcock couple lost the match 14-15, 14-15, ending their winning streak in the tournament.
Sung Ji Hyun had an easy third match as she bagged a win against the world 111th ranked Anura Prabhudesai. Hyun, a clear favourite to win, sailed to a 15-7, 15-8 victory.
The final nail in the coffin from Mumbai came in the men's doubles match between Kim Gi Jung and Lee Yong Dae and Or Chin Chung and Sumeeth Reddy. The Jung-Dae pair won the match 15-8, 15-10, finishing off the things for Mumbai.
The Rockets are currently on the top of the PBL Points Table, having won 12 matches from the 25 played. They have won four Trump Matches and have a total 19 points to their name. They will play their final tie against Bengaluru Raptors at the Kanteerava Indoor Stadium, Bengaluru on 08th January at 7 PM (IST).
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