Mumbai, Bengaluru clashes in PBL finals
BENGALURU: Mumbai Rockets booked a title clash against Bengaluru
Raptors for the Premier Badminton League
title by dumping out defending champions Hyderabad Hunters 4-2 at
the Sree Kanteerava Indoor Stadium on Saturday. The Mumbai side won
three of the first four matches to take an unassailable lead and
advance to the final while Hunters' lone victory came thanks to PV
Mumbai started off with a win, their men's doubles duo of Gi Jung Kim and Yong Dae Lee defeating Bodin Isara and Sa Rang Kim 15-14, 15-12 in an entertaining tie. It was a couple of mistakes by the Hunters halfway through the first game and late in the second that decided the contest. The second game was especially entertaining until at 11-11, Isara and Kim erred to give their opponents the lead.
Sameer Verma then extended Mumbai's lead to 3-0 by winning their trump match against Mark Caljouw 15-8, 15-7. The singles star barely broke a sweat as he swept through the contest with ease.
Sindhu then predictably got Hunters' back into the contest with a routine 15-6, 15-5 win over Shreyasnshi Pardeshi in their trump match. On the day's most anticipated match, Sindhu started off slow, earning an 8-6 lead at the break before racking up seven straight points to close the first game. The World number 3 then added another seven straight points and although her opponent managed to open her account, Sindhu quickly ended the contest with few back court smashes and drop shots.
Needing a win to stay in the match, Hunters' Hyun Il Lee tried hard to get his side back into the contest but found the going tough against Anders Antonsen. The Dane's ability to play defensively and strike with precise wristy strokes led him to a match clinching 15-13, 15-6 win. While in the first game he had to claw back from a three point deficit at 8-11, Antonsen faced no such troubles in the second, opening an early lead and then powering through to the finish line.
Results: Mumbai Rockets 4 bt Hyderabad Hunters 2: Men's doubles: Gi Jung Kim/ Yong Dae Lee bt Bodin Isara/ Sa Rang Kim 15-14, 15-12. Men's singles: Sameer Verma (T) bt Mark Caljouw 15-8, 15-7. Women's singles: Suryanshi Pardeshi lt to PV Sindhu (T) 6-15, 5-15. Men's singles: Anders Antonsen bt Hyun Il Lee 15-13, 15-6.