Highlights, PBL 2018, 2nd semi-final: Sikki Reddy-Kim Sa Rang take Bengaluru Blasters into the final

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Highlights, PBL 2018, 2nd semi-final: Sikki Reddy-Kim Sa Rang take Bengaluru Blasters into the final
  • 22:33 (IST)

    It was a match worthy of a semi-final that saw the advantage shifting hands after every game. Hard luck for tournament debutants Ahmedabad Smash Masters who end their run agonisingly close to their maiden final.

    It will be Bengaluru Blasters led by Viktor Axelen who will face Hyderabad Hunters in Sunday's Final. With both teams winning their trump matches, Smash Masters winning the opening men's singles encounter (Sourabh Verma) and Blasters winning the other men's singles encounter (Viktor Axelsen), it all came down to the final mixed doubles match. This match between two top quality pairs went down to the wire and it was the Blasters duo of Sikki Reddy and Kim Sa Rang who beat the Smash Masters pair of Kamilla Rytter Juhl and Law Cheuk. 

    That's it from us today and join us on Sunday for the Final between Bengaluru Blasters and Hyderabad Hunters. 

  • 22:26 (IST)

  • The Bengaluru Blasters camp erupt in celebration after their remarkable win. 

  • 22:22 (IST)

  • 22:20 (IST)

    It is Bengaluru Blasters who enter the Final of the PBL 2018. 

    The duo of Sikki Reddy and Kim Sa Rang win the match 15-12, 13-15, 15-9 to send the Viktor Axelsen-led team into the Final. They will be up against Hyderabad Hunters. 

  • 22:17 (IST)

    12-8! The Bengaluru Blasters are three points away from reaching the final of PBL 2018 

  • Yet again, it's a tough call to choose between the two pairs. Reddy and Kim have a two-point lead over Juhl and Law in the decider. Oh, people are whistling here inside the arena.

  • 22:14 (IST)

  • 22:12 (IST)

  • 22:08 (IST)

    Kamilla-Lee win the second game 15-13! It is one game apiece and this mixed doubles match goes into a decider. What an intense semi-final tie it has been so far between these top quality teams!!!!

  • 22:07 (IST)

  • 11-9! to Reddy and Kim. They are on a roll at the moment. At one point, the duo was trailing 6-9 and look where we are now. It's all about the combination!

  • 22:03 (IST)

    11-9! The duo of Sikki and Kim Sa Rang in the lead and are looking to finish this match in this game. Will they lead the blasters into the final on Sunday?

  • 8-5! Juhl and Law have played smartly after losing the opening game. Only Reddy has been able to read the game. On the other hand, Kim looks a bit uncomfortable at the back.

  • 22:00 (IST)

  • 21:58 (IST)

  • 21:58 (IST)

    4-4! Scores level in the second game of the tie-decider. However, it is the Blasters duo who seem to be having the upper hand in the game. They have better coordination and are highly pumped up 

  • 21:55 (IST)

    15-12! The Blasters duo of Sikki Reddy and Kim Sa Rang win that opening game against Smash Masters. The Bengaluru side have one foot at the door to the final. Will the duo of Kamilla and Law push this into a decider?

  • 21:53 (IST)

  • 21:51 (IST)

    10-10! very short rallies at the moment between the players as neither team is dominating proceedings so far in the opening game 

  • 21:49 (IST)

  • 21:47 (IST)

  • Sikki Reddy's husband B Sumeeth Reddy is here to support the Bengaluru Blasters.

  • 21:45 (IST)

    Lot of pressure on both these mixed doubles pairs as a win here will send their team to the final against the Hyderabad Hunters

  • 21:44 (IST)

  • 21:41 (IST)

  • VIKTORIOUS! Axelsen beats Prannoy in straight games (15-11, 15-14) to help Blasters stay in the hunt for a place in the final. The scores are tied at 3-3 now. Despite the loss, Prannoy gave Axelsen a tough fight there

  • 21:39 (IST)

  • 12-12! Both players are making silly mistakes from the backcourt. Axelsen has applied too much power in his last two shots.

  • 21:33 (IST)

  • 21:30 (IST)

    10-8! A 21-shot rally ends in favour of the Dane who takes the lead in the second game 

  • 21:28 (IST)

    8-8! A change of racquet seems to be working for Prannoy who is sending one unplayable smash after the other to level the scores in the second game 

  • 21:27 (IST)

  • Nervous moments for both the camps as we inch closer towards the result of the tie

  • 21:25 (IST)

    6-4! The World No 1 in the lead but it has been a series of unforced errors one after the other from both the players 

  • 21:22 (IST)

    1-0! Prannoy kick starts proceedings in the second game with a towering smash 

  • 21:22 (IST)

  • 15-11! Axelsen smashes into Prannoy's defence to claim the opening game. The Dane uses height to his advantage at times to hit a variety of attacking strokes. The Indian started confidently, but later got beaten at the net. The second game gets underway

  • 21:19 (IST)

  • 10-10! Both Prannoy and Axelsen have been excellent at the net, maintaining a balance between their strokes. This is quality badminton.

  • 21:16 (IST)

    8-8! Axelsen levels things after the interval with a backhand winner at the net. 

  • 21:16 (IST)

  • 4-4! We can already see the rallies being played between the two shuttlers who love to retrieve as much as possible. Prannoy needs to be wary of Axelsen's range as he isn't the one who plays slow from the back.

  • 21:11 (IST)

    3-3! Three unforced errors from Axelsen allowed Prannoy to take the lead, but the Indian hit an error of his own to allow the Dane to level the scores in this men's singles match in the semi-final of PBL 2018

  • 21:10 (IST)

  • 21:08 (IST)

  • The clash of modern day Taufik Hidayat and Lin Dan. Just kidding. Both Prannoy and Axelsen have a perfect mix of attack and defence which makes them so difficult to beat. If Prannoy wins this, Ahmedabad Smash Masters will go through.

  • 21:08 (IST)

    It is now time for the 2nd men's singles match of the day. World No 1 Viktor Axelsen turns up for the Bengaluru Blasters against World No 10 HS Prannoy. 

    Axelsen has to win this game for Blasters to remain in the semi-final. A win here will confirm the Smash Masters' entry into the final 

  • 21:06 (IST)

  • 21:03 (IST)

    Take a bow Tai Tzu Ying. She pulls off one of the most audacious returns to win the women's singles match against Kirsty Gilmour 8-15, 15-13, 15-8. The World No 1 was tested to her limits by an enterprising Gilmour who matched the Chinese Taipei shuttler and even overplayed her in the first game and the most part of the second. But Tai Tzu Ying proved why she was the best in the world and switched gears and continued to rise and rise to help Ahmedabad Smash Masters lead 3-2 in their semi-final encounter against the Bengaluru Blasters

In the 2nd semi-final of the Premier Badminton League, the league debutants Ahmedabad Smash Masters will take on Bengaluru Blasters for a place in the final of the 2018 edition,

The team that emerges victorious in this encounter will take on a red-hot Hyderabad Hunters team that beat Delhi Dashers in the other semi-final on Friday.

prannoy axelsen 380The Smash Masters boasts of two top-class singles players in the form of HS Prannoy and World No 1 Tai Tzu Ying. While Prannoy will square it off against World No 1 Viktor Axelsen, the women's singles match will be between Tai Tzu and young Kirsty Gilmour.

The semi-final will kick off with the first men's singles match between Smash Masters' Sourabh Verma facing Blasters' Chong Wei Fang.

The Trump card matches of the day will be the men's doubles match followed by the women's singles match between Tai Tzu and Gilmour.

Meanwhile on Friday, former World Champion Carolina Marin came back from a game down to steer Hyderabad Hunters into the final of the Premier Badminton League (PBL) at the Gachibowli Indoor Stadium.

Marin, cheered on by a vociferous home crowd, overcame a fighting Sun Ji Hun 13-15, 15-10, 15-9 to dash the hopes of Delhi Dashers in a gripping semi-final. She picked up two points for her win as her team's Trump player.

Earlier, local hero B Sai Praneeth set up the victory by beating the Dashers' Trump player Tian Houwei. The Hyderabadi was on song, rattling the Chinese World No 22 with a flurry of down the line smashes.

He raced away to a 15-9, 15-8 victory to get the crowds on their feet. The Hunters shot into a 1-0 lead as the Dashers lost the point that they had won while also yielding a point.

The Hunters began on the wrong foot, with the Hyderabad duo of Pia Zebadiah Bernadet and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy losing the opening clash.

They lost to Ashwini Ponnappa and Vladimir Ivanov 15-13, 10-15, 10-15 as the crowd fell silent.

Ashiwni and the tall Russian lost the first game but cam back strongly in the next two. India's doubles specialist Ashwini was in her elements as she ensured Delhi's comeback with her decisive returns.

They took charge soon to wrap up the next two games 15-10, 15-10.

The clash between Marin and Sung Ji was a thriller, with both players showcasing a range of shots while also defending well.

Marin suffered a setback in the opening game as Sung Ji toyed around with her, mixing her drop shots with perfection. It was still a close match, with Marin losing 13-15.

The second game was tighter and gave the fans a lot to cheer about as Marin lifted her game. She was rolling hard and retrieved virtually every shot to frustrate the Korean.

Midway through the game, she took charge with a series of points to deflate Sung Ji 15-10. Thereafter, it was Marin all the way.

She didn't give the visibly tiring Sung Ji any opportunity and forced her into errors to capture the third game as well as the match.

With inputs from IANS


Updated Date: Jan 13, 2018 22:33 PM

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