PBL 2020: Defending champions Bengaluru Raptors book last semi-final spot by defeating Awadhe Warriors
Defending champions Bengaluru Raptors bagged the last spot and stormed into the semi-finals of Premier Badminton League Season 5 at the G.M.C Balaygogi SATS Indoor Stadium. Fighting toe to toe with the Awadhe Warriors, the Tai Tzu Ying-led Bengaluru Raptors made it to the semi-finals, despite a rather slow start to the tournament. There were no hints of that in today's clash against the Warriors as they defeated them 5-0, to make it to the last four.
In the first rubber of the day, the Awadhe Warriors began on the right foot with the Men's Doubles match. It was Ko Sung Hyun and Shin Baek Cheol who stepped out for the Warriors and secured an impressive victory over Arun George and Rian Agung Saputro. The match was a pure nail-biter as it stretched over three tense games with finally the pair of Sung Hyun and Baek Cheol winning, 15-14, 7-15, 11-15.
The second match of the evening saw an outshining performance from Frenchman Brice Leverdez against Ajay Jayaram. It was the Trump Match for the Awadhe Warriors and they had sent Jayaram to safeguard it but Leverdez proved to be too good for the Indian challenger. It was an easy straight game victory for the Raptors as they broke the Trump and won the match, 15-9, 15-9.
The star clash of the day was definitely the one between Taiwanese World No. 2, Tai Tzu Ying and American Beiwen Zhang, who is ranked at World No. 14. Zhang gave a stiff competition to the costliest player in the PBL, Tai Tzu Ying but the Taiwanese was quick to prevail in straight games after a hard-fought effort by the Warriors player. It was Tai Tzu Ying who gave the Raptors a 2-0 lead with that.
The fourth rubber of the evening was another sensational match that saw B.Sai Praneeth, captain of the Raptors, champion their cause against Wong Wing Ki Vincent of the Awadhe Warriors. It was the Trump Match for the Bengaluru side and Praneeth produced a spirited performance against the World No. 41 player, thrashing him in straight games, 15-11, 15-13 to get a 4-0 lead on the board.
With that win the Bengaluru Raptors had already booked their semi-final spot after the Chennai Superstarz, North Eastern Warriors and the Pune 7 Aces made it to the Last Four, earlier in the tournament. However, the final match of the tie also saw the Raptors winning the Mixed Doubles clash. It was P.S Chan and E.H Won who stepped out against K.S Hyun and Christinna Pedersen of the Warriors. The match carried on for three exciting games with finally the duo of Chan and Won winning, 7-15, 15-12, 15-11. The Bengaluru Raptors will now meet the Pune 7 Aces for a place in the finals.
Published 07 Feb 2020, 00:33 IST