PBL 2020: The North Eastern Warriors smoothly steers past Mumbai Rockets 

Michelle Li of the North Eastern Warriors
Michelle Li of the North Eastern Warriors

The runners-up of the Premier Badminton League Season 4, the Mumbai Rockets are suffering from a four-match losing streak as The North Eastern Warriors defeated them fair and square, 5-2 at the G.M.C Balayogi SATS Indoor Stadium.

The final leg of the PBL Season 5 action has shifted to Hyderabad and The North Eastern Warriors has so far dominated, winning against the Hyderabad Hunters a day before and matching it up with a victory against the Mumbai Rockets. The power of the Warriors stems from their key players, Michelle Li and Lee Cheuk Yiu who are ably guiding the side to victory, time and again.

In the first rubber of the day, the Mumbai Rockets had sent K.S. Rang and P. Z. Bernadeth against the experienced Warriors pair of Lee Yong Dae and Kim Ha Na. As is usual in every first match, the Mixed Doubles also got off to tense start with three games being played before the Warriors could consolidate the winning point. It took quite some effort from Lee Yong Dae and K.H. Na to tame the Rockets and secure the victory with the score 7-15, 15-5, 10-15.

The second rubber saw Michelle Li playing the Trump Match for the Warriors. After pulling off a sensational straight-games victory against PV Sindhu in her previousmatch against the Hyderabad Hunters, Li was relentless again. Although the young Shriyanshi Pardeshi gave some minute trouble, Li was focussed on getting the +2 Trump Match points on the board for the Warriors as she warded off Pardeshi, 9-15, 11-15. With that, the Warriors were already leading at 3-0.

The next match was the Men's Singles clash where the Rockets sent Parupalli Kashyap against Lee Cheuk Yiu. In another stunning encounter, the 2020 Indonesia Masters semi-finalist, Yiu took down Kashyap, a familiar rival on-court. It was a high-intensity match which saw Yiu really dazzling with his shots as he won 12-15, 11-15.

For the Rockets, the Trump Match was the Men's Doubles where they sent K.G Jung and K.S Rang to take matters in their hands against K.P Garaga and Lee Yong Dae, of the Warriors. Jung and Rang were fierce with their rallies and quick to take down the pair of Garaga and Dae, 15-9, 15-8 and granted +2 points to the Rockets.

By then the tie was already secured by the Warriors as they already led 4-2. However, the final clash of the day saw L.D Keun taking on Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk from the Warriors side. The Thai player has been enjoying a good season at this PBL and dropped no sweat against Keun, swiftly winning the match 10-15, 7-15. With that, the North Eastern Warriors are now third on the points table while the Mumbai Rockets have slid to the penultimate spot.

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Edited by Shruti Sadbhav
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