Chennai Smashers & Mumbai Rockets are through to the Semifinals of the Star Sports Premier Badminton League as soon as Chennai Smashers outsmarted Bengaluru Top Guns today at Bengaluru. Bengaluru couldn’t do much as their fall started with their first match of the day when Sameer Verma lost to Sony Dwi Kumcoro in a trump match.
The first match started with tough battle of shuttle between Sameer & Sony. This was Sony’s trump match, and Sony taking the lead in a dominating style. He won the first set 15-10. Second set was taken by Sameer as he won 15-10. The crucial third set was won by Sony as he took 2 points home.
Bengaluru Top Guns’ Hoon Thien How/Joachim Fischer Nielsen outplayed Chennai Smashers’ Chris Adcock/Prannav Chopra in the second match, as they lessened the margin to 2-1. Following on the winning spree, Bengaluru equalized in the third match as Srikanth Kidambi thumped down Chennai’s Brice Leverdez to take score to 2-2. Fourth match had PV Sindhu defeat Suo Di 15-12, 15-7 to take the score to 3-2. The fifth match was trump match for Bengaluru top guns which had the chance to take lead. However, Chennai duo played with more patience and maintained their attacks as per their strategies, which helped them edge-past Bengaluru pair by 15-14 in a closely-fought first game. Second game started with more intense tussles from both sides. However, Bengaluru came under a huge pressure and started committing errors, which cost the Trump Match eventually. Chennai hold their nerves till the last serve and finished the match as winners by defeating the opponents by 4-1.
After the first match, the winner Sony Dwi Kuncoro, commented: “This was an important match for both the teams. This was our Trump and had I lost then that would have meant 1 point getting deducted from our overall points tally and they would still had a chance for the semi-finals. From here we can say that we are in the semi-finals and it’s a real happy moment for everyone at the dugout”.
After the win, Hoon Thien How and Joachim Fischer Nielsen said: “It’s always a happy moment to win a match and we are feeling the same. From here we want to win as many matches as possible from the remaining three.”
After the win in the third match, Srikanth Kidambi stated: “It is great to win in front of the home crowd. We are now on levelled terms with Chennai and hope to add further to our points tally. We wish to win our Trump match and win as much points as we can.”
After the fourth match, PV Sindhu commented: “Sou Di is a very talented player and she has displayed her skills throughout this Star Sports PBL 2016. She gave a real challenge to me but happily I managed to hang on win the game for our team”.
After winning the fifth match, Chris Adcock/ Pia Zebiadah stated: “It was a high-intense match and both the teams were under huge pressure. We just kept our patience and played the natural game with set strategies. Winning the Tie was very important for our team as we will play our Semi-Final match with more confidence and zeal.”
This match concluded the league phase. The semi-final clash will see Delhi Acers taking on Chennai Smashers tomorrow (14 Jan 2016) and Awadhe Warriors to clash against Mumbai Rockets on day after (15 Jan 2016). The Fastest Smash of the Day (Male) went to Prannav Chopra (CS) 412 KMPH, while the Fastest Smash of the Day (Female) went to Ashwini Ponnappa (BT) 332 KMPH. The Longest Rally of the Day went to Sony Dwi Kuncoro (CS) 28 shots and the Most Valuable Player was PV Sindhu (CS). Point Table standings can be seen below: