PBL 2020: Bengaluru Raptors defend title, overcome North Eastern Warriors in final

B. Sai Praneeth
B. Sai Praneeth

The Bengaluru Raptors are back on top of the perch after being crowned as the champions of the Premier Badminton League Season 5 for the second year on the trot. It took a powerful performance from World No. 2 Tai Tzu Ying and ace shuttler, B. Sai Praneeth to guarantee a stupendous victory over the maiden finalists, the North Eastern Warriors. The Raptors became the first team to successfully defend a title, thanks to such power-packed performances, as they cruised to victory, 4-2.

The exciting final began with the Men's Singles match where Bengaluru team captain and World Championships bronze medalist, B. Sai Praneeth stepped out to set the winning trend for the Raptors. After the loss to Kazumasa Sakai, Sai Praneeth was in no mood to make mistakes as the World No. 11 player gave Lee Cheuk Yiu of Hong Kong a tough time. The first two games were tough but Praneeth was leading 11-0 in the third, which made it impossible for Cheuk Yiu to attempt a comeback. Praneeth won the match swiftly after engaging in some rallies, 14-15, 15-9, 15-3.

The second rubber of the day saw the men's doubles clash between the pair of Arun George and Rian Agung Saputro against the much-experienced duo of Lee Yong Dae and Bodin Isara of the North Eastern Warriors. The Thai-Korean combination worked extremely well for the Warriors and the match was incredibly nail-biting with intense rallies. Finally, Yong Dae and Isara edged past George and Saputro narrowly winning 15-11, 13-15, 15-14 and broke the Trump of the Raptors.

It had to be World No. 2 Taiwanese force, Tai Tzu Ying who had to bring things back on track for the Raptors as she took on Michelle Li. Only quite recently, the World No. 10 player had defeated Tai Tzu Ying in Japan but that was not to be the case this time as Ying took charge of the situation. Getting by easily with 9-15, 12-15 victory, Ying took the Raptors a step closer to their dream.

The Mixed Doubles was the Trump match for the North Eastern Warriors and saw the duo of Krishna Prasad Garaga and Kim Ha Na taking on Chan Peng Soon and Eom Hye Won from the Bengaluru side. This match was a pure nail-biter with Peng Soon and Hye Won somehow finding the rare opportunities to advance the cause of the Raptors. Running into three extremely tight games, the pair from the Raptors broke the Trump and won, 14-15, 15-14, 12-15 and created history. With that win, the Bengaluru Raptors were crowned champions for the second time in a row and has become the first team to defend the PBL title.

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Edited by S Chowdhury
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