The first semi-final of the ongoing Premier Badminton League 2020 saw the clash between the North Eastern Warriors and the Chennai Superstarz. Both teams had been very consistent in their efforts in this tournament but it was clear that the North Eastern Warriors had more command today as they took the challenge posed by the Chennai Superstarz head-on. Playing at the G.M.C Balayogi SATS Indoor Stadium in Hyderabad, it was the North Eastern Warriors who dealt out a 3- (-1) loss to the Superstarz and booked their maiden berth in the finals of PBL Season 5.
The real frontrunners of the North Eastern Warriors were Lee Cheuk Yiu in the Men's Singles category while the show stealers and victory sealers for the day was the pair of Bodin Isara and Krishna Prasad Garaga who enabled that the Warriors make it to their first-ever final at the Premier Badminton League.
In the first rubber of the semi-final clash, the experienced mixed doubles pair of Lee Yong Dae and Kim Ha Na took on B. Sumeeth Reddy and Jessica Pugh of the Chennai Superstarz. Dae was impressive as usual despite a brief resistance from the side of Reddy and Pugh. However, the match reached its conclusion after three exciting games of high-quality shuttle action with the North Eastern Warriors beginning with a win, 15-12, 9-15, 15-14.
In the second match of the evening, it was the turn of the Men's singles where a brilliant Lee Cheuk Yiu, ranked World No. 18, outsmarted and outplayed Chennai's experienced shuttler, Tommy Sugiarto. Handing out a straight-game defeat to Sugiarto, Cheuk Yiu managed to forward the chances of taking the North Eastern Warriors to the finals as he won 15-12, 15-12.
In the final match of the evening, the North Eastern Warriors broke the Trump of the Chennai Superstarz in the Men's Doubles. It was Bodin Isara and Krishna Prasad Garaga of the Warriors who dealt the final blow to Chennai as B. Sumeeth Reddy and Dhruv Kapila lost to them. With Satwiksairaj Rankireddy nursing an ankle injury and not playing for Chennai, Kapila had to step in. However, he could not fill in his shoes as the experienced Isara navigated Garaga and the North Eastern Warriors to their maiden PBL final, as they won, 15-13, 14-15, 15-10.Published 08 Feb 2020, 00:31 IST