Swetha Image Courtesy:
16 Jan, 2018
Bengaluru Blasters set up the final summit with Hyderabad Hunters after defeating Ahmedabad Smash Masters in the hard-fought second semifinals of the Premier Badminton League on Saturday.
The Blasters' star player Viktor Axelsen and their Mixed Doubles' duo Kim Sa Rang and Sikki Reddy won the last two matches of the contest to beat a valiant Ahmedabad Smash Masters 3-2 (4-3 on points).
Earlier, World No. 1 Tai Tzu Ying, came back stronger after her loss in the first game, to win her crucial Trump match and kept the Masters hopes alive in the match.
Tai Tzu took the early lead 4-2 but soon started making too many mistakes, allowing Gilmour to catch up 6-6. She almost looked helpless as Gilmour kept picking up easy points to lose the opening game at 9.
She fell behind in the second game too, giving Gilmour a whiff of victory. But then she was suddenly on song, smashing with accuracy to level the scores at 12-12 and win it at 13.
Tai Tzu dominated the third game, racing away to a 8-5 lead. She wrapped up the remaining points too quickly to win at 8.
Later, Viktor Axelsen managed to level the score with 3-3 by getting better off HS Prannoy in the second men’s singles with the easy 15-11, 15-14 win.
The Dane had to fight off hard for a match point after the two players matched each other all the way till 13-13.
Kim Sa Rang and Sikki Reddy beat Law Cheuk Him and Kamilla Rytter Juhl 15-12, 13-15, 15-9 to content supporters of the Blasters.
Earlier, Sourabh Verma set the ball rolling for the Smash Masters, overcoming Malaysia's Chong Wei Feng 2-1 for the first point. The World No. 17 smashed his way to an easy 15-2 win the opening game.
The second game was much closer as Chen Long defended well confidently. Trailing with 6-9, Saurabh caught up few good strokes at 13-13 and then 14-14. But Chong Wei came up with a perfect smash to win it. Sourabh was back at his best in the decider, even though Chong Wei stayed with him till 9-9. Sourabh picked up a four-point lead to change the momentum. He eventually won 15-10.
The Blasters jumped ahead to a 2-1 lead in the Men's Doubles, with Kim Sa Rang and Mathias Boe taking the extra Trump point. The Hong Kong-Denmark duo were leading from the beginning as Mathias Boe controlling the contest from the back of the court. They beat Lee Chun Hei Reginald and Kidambi Nandagopal with 15-13, 15 -12.
The final encounter of the season will be on Sunday at Gachibowli Stadium against Hyderabad Hunters.