PBL 2018: Bengaluru Raptors Smash Pune 7 Aces by 4-3

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Kidambi Srikanth nicked a thrilling victory over his Indian counterpart Ajay Jayaram with the Bengaluru Raptors edging Pune 7 Aces out by 4-3.

Srikanth was unbeaten against Jayaram on four occasions on the BWF circuit in the past. But that meant little as the latter registered a thunderous start to the match for the night. The stakes were especially high considering that this was a Trump match for the Raptors.

Jayaram displayed no hints of the hamstring injury that had derailed his career for the better part of the year. He glided around beautifully, producing some superb smashes to clinch the opener by 15-10.

Srikanth responded back strongly in the second match, playing an aggressive brand of badminton and putting on an array of attacking shots. Although the Pune-boy made a late return in the match at 9-12, Srikanth’s extensive experience meant he pocketed the game at 15-12.

The thrilling decider was close, as expected, with both the parties going head to head. Jayaram was resiliently registering comebacks, making life difficult for Srikanth. However, with the score locked at 14-14, the Bengaluru shuttler sneaked through by taking the golden point and the Trump win with it.

Earlier in the night, it was Pune’s icon player and skipper Carolina Marin who clinched the hosts Trump match against Vu Thi Trang in the women’s singles match. This was the first time that both were meeting in any competition.

The Spaniard relentlessly took the charge of the match throughout, taking up a 7-3 lead in the first game and closing the contest at 15-8. The Vietnamese had little clue on ways to stop the lethal Marin even in the following game. The Spanish shuttler continued to dominate the proceedings winning the second set by a 15-5 win in Pune’s Trump match.

Raptors were given a perfect start by the two-time former world champion pair of Mohammad Ahsan and Hendra Setiawan defeating the 7 Aces pair of Chirag Shetty and Vladimir Ivanov by 15-12, 15-11 in the men’s doubles.

Nonetheless, Ivanov replied for the loss by joining forces with Line Kjaersfeldt to win in the mixed doubles match against Marcus Ellis and Lauren Smith of Bengaluru by 15-13, 15-9.

That victory put the match in fair balance with both the teams sharing equal points. It all came to the final match that would prove to be the decider. In the men’s singles match, it was B Sai Praneeth who rose on the occasion, after he defeated Lakshya Sen by 15-9 15-13 to tilt the contest in Bengaluru’s favour.

Final Results

V Ivanovic-C Shetty vs M Ahsan- H Setiawan | 12-15, 11-15

C Marin vs TT Vu | 15-8, 15-5

A Jayaram vs K Srikanth | 15-10, 15-15, 14-15

V Ivanovic – Line Kjaersfeldt vs M Ellis – L Ellis | 15-13, 15-9

Lakshya Sen vs BS Praneeth | 9-15, 13-15

For more updates on PBL, stay tuned with KreedOn, the Voice of Indian Sports.

Monish Gadiya is a Pune-based sports author at KreedOn. He is a thorough tech-enthusiast and believes innovation is the answer to the problems prevalent in the society. Monish graduated from University of Pune with a degree in civil engineering before pursuing a post-graduate diploma course in creative writing and intellectual property rights. A die-hard football fan, he has represented his college at various football competitions.

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