PBL Final: Bengaluru Raptors Beat Mumbai, Win Their Maiden Title

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PBL KreedOn
Credits PBL

The final of the Premier Badminton League (PBL) lived up to its high expectations with the contest for the title going down to the wire for a winner to emerge. It was Bengaluru Raptors who had the final edge as they emerged triumphant over Mumbai Rockets.

The full house at the Sree Kanteerava Indoor Stadium got to witness a thrilling finale as the summit clash was tied at 3-3 and it was all left to men’s doubles to provide the winner of the evening. The hosts clearly had the home support, with the crowd rallying firmly cheering for every move of the home team.

Mohammad Ahsan and Hendra Setiawan were at the centre of the tense affair, but the duo prevailed 15-13, 15-10 over the Mumbai Rockets pair of Dae Lee & Jung Kim.

The stunning victory triggered mass celebration from across the stands, with the entire Bengaluru squad rushing towards the court in jubilation with an emphatic coach Arvind Bhat first among the entrants.

Mumbai was in the driver’s seat earlier in the evening, having taken a lead of 2-0 through Pia Bernadette and Kim Jung’s 15-8, 15-14 win over Lauren Smith and Marcus Ellis. The pair demonstrated some terrific net play matched with effective communication. Although Ellis-Lauren tried hard to make a comeback in the contest, making it 14-14. However, a silly error is what let them down in the end when Ellis decided to leave out a straightforward service, that unfortunately landed inside.

Kidambi Srikanth, who had been unbeaten in the tournament, extended his winning streak with an easy 15-7, 15-10 win over Anders Antonsen.

The World No. 8 started the match with a crosscourt smash winner and didn’t look back. The World No.8, his team’s star player, notched up his seventh win on the rarely put a foot wrong thereafter. In fact, it was a premonition of things to come for his Danish opponent Anders Antonsen.

The match stood at 2-1 when Raptor’s Vu Thi stepped in the women’s singles rubber. The Vietnamese easily defeated Rockets’ P. Shreyanshi by 15-8 15-9 to make it 3-2.

Sai Praneeth, who was also on a 6 match winning run, had the opportunity to seal the host’s fate early on when he faced fellow compatriot Sameer Verma. However, the latter showcased great character to come back from a 15-7 to clinch the second game by 12-15.

The deciding game Sameer Verma playing at his clinical best – crisp smashes, delicate drops, agile coverage of the court – you just name it. He easily trumped Praneeth for 15-3 victory to help his team level the score at 3-3.

Penultimately, it was the doubles specialists who had the task of putting an end to the interesting contest.

Final Result

Bengaluru Raptors 4-3 Mumbai Rockets

Marcus Ellis – Lauren Smith  2-0 Kim Jung – Pia Bernadet (Trump Match) | 8-15, 14-15

Srikanth 2-0 Anders Antonsen | 15-7, 15-10
Vu Thi (Trump Match) 2-0 P. Shreyanshi | 15-8, 15-9

Sai Praneeth 1-2 Sameer Verma | 7-15, 15-12, 15-3

Hendra Satiawan – Mohammad Ahsan 2-0 Jung Kim – Dae Lee | 15-13, 15-10

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Monish Gadiya is a Pune-based sports author and designer at KreedOn. He is a thorough tech-enthusiast and believes that 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 intellectual property rights. A die-hard football fan, he has represented his college at various football competitions.

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