PBL 2020: Chennai Superstarz maintain winning streak; Inflict defeat on Bengaluru Raptors 

Tommy Sugiarto
Tommy Sugiarto
Sohinee Basu

The winning trend continued for the Chennai Superstarz as part of their home leg as the team assured that they hold on to the top position on the points table with a 4-3 win over the defending PBL champions, Bengaluru Raptors.

It has been five sensational days of intense badminton and it just keeps getting better and through it all, it has been the Lakshya Sen and Tommy Sugiarto manned Chennai Superstarz side who have been dominating. After this victory, the Chennai team are up top on the points table at 13 with the North Eastern Warriors trailing way below with seven points.

In the first clash of the evening, Chennai sent D. Kapila/J.Pugh against P.S Chan and E.H Won from the Bengaluru side. The duo from Chennai failed to make any damage as Chan and Won emerged to be the better pair and defeated Kapila and Pugh 7-15, 8-15. With that, Bengaluru had secured their first win of the day and looked ahead positively.

But that joy was shortlived as Chennai sent forth their experienced shuttler, Tommy Sugiarto against the star Indian player B. Sai Praneeth. As was expected, it was going to be a stiff fight and Sugiarto had to push hard to get the better off Praneeth. Chennai pocketed their first win of the evening after Sugiarto overcame the Indian in three tight games of 15-13, 10-15, 15-11.

It was Lakshya Sen who stepped in next to play the Trump match for the Chennai side. Enjoying an undefeated run so far in the fifth edition of the PBL, the young Sen once again stunned everyone at the Jawarharlal Nehru Indoor Stadium. Sen was too goodeven for the much experienced Frenchman, Brice Leverdez. It was Lakshya Sen dictating all the shots as he won Chennai an all-important match, 15-5, 15-4.

However, the unsuccessful run continues for Pullela Gopichand's daughter, Gayatri, who is playing her first-ever PBL. She was pitched against Bengaluru's Tai Tzu Ying, the World No. 1 and asset of the Bengaluru side. Gopichand also faced P V Sindhu in her debut PBL match against Hyderabad Hunters but Tai Tzu Ying proved to offer a stiffer challenge for the gutsy teenager. Although Gayatri was off to a flying start against Ying, bagging the first game, she failed to hold on as the Taiwanese delivered a masterclass in badminton soon after. Ying rallied towards clinching the victory in 15-13, 6-15, 6-15.

In the final match, Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and D. Kapila took to the court for the Chennai side against Bengaluru's P.S Chan and R.A Saputro. It was once again up to the men's doubles to ensure the victory and the Rankireddy-powered side came out on top after engaging in gruelling rallies in a match that spanned over three games. The doubles encounter was simply intense but the pair from Chennai had the last laugh as they won 13-15, 15-9, 15-9. With that, a 4-3 victory was secured by the Chennai Superstarz as they remain at the Numero Uno slot on the rankings table.

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Edited by Alan John


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