|Good evening! Hello and welcome to Sportstar‘s live coverage of the eighth match of the Premier Badminton League (PBL) 2020 where Pune 7 Aces will take on defending champion Bengaluru Raptors at the Babu Banarasi Das U.P. Badminton Academy in Lucknow.|
|Scores in order of Sai – Yew|
8-9 Kean Yew forcing Sai Praneeth into the backhand corner after the Indian lifts one half-heartedly. The Singaporean set up that point beautifully.
7-8 A brilliant swing from Sai Praneeth sees the shuttle land across. Super tactical move from the World No 11 as Kean Yew fails to reach there on time.
6-7 Again the unforced error! Maybe the pressure of not having a win in the PBL so far is getting to Sai Praneeth.
6-5 A 28-shot tense rally comes to an end and Kean Yew bags a point after Sai Praneeth, who was expecting to draw in an attacking shot from Kean Yew pulls back.
4-2 So quick to get there, is Sai Praneeth! Half a smash from the Indian bu that does it. Kean Yew hardly got any time to react to that.
2-1 Sai Praneeth’s lift off Kean Yew’s smash a little short as it crashes against the net.
1-0 Loh Kean Yew smashes one out after Bengaluru takes the first serve.
Up next, it is Bengaluru’s B. Sai Praneeth vs Pune’s Loh Kean Yew.
|Scores in order of Sakai – Ansal|
15-9 It is all over! Easier work in the second game, I must say. Ansal can be proud of his efforts too resisting the Japanese World No 71.
Sakai clinches his first win in the PBL after losing to Mumbai Rockets’ Lee Dong Keun in his side’s last match.
13-9 A good strategic move from Sakai who is leading the charge for the 7 Aces. Waits for Ansal’s return at the back and then swings wildly to steal a point from Ansal.
11-8 Sakai leaves the front court exposed as Ansal displays good wrist work to flick one shot across.
11-6 Now Sakai has a lead of five points. Can he wrap it up in two straight games? Or can Ansal push it into a third deciding game?
9-6 Sakai did not expect that shot to land on his side. But it does, as Ansal takes a low one from the botom of the court. Shows superb control at that as the Indian bags one point!
7-4 Ansal is picking up all of Sakai’s smashes. But he couldn’t get the direction right in the last shot. He misfires as the shuttles swings out of play!
5-3 Sakai took it to low to be able to control a shot at the net. Put away easily by Ansal.
3-2 Sakai drops one cross-court as Ansal loses control towards the right end of the court.
2-2 Ansal switching to an attacking game, which is not his natural style of play. He gets Sakai to go on the defensive at the back of the court when he rains in a smash, which was impossible to get to.
1-0 364 kph! That was the speed of Sakai’s thundering smash to start off the second game. He is not to be messed with tonight!
15-14 Pune 7 Aces has clinched the first game right from the jaws of defeat! What a game this has been with Sakai winning five points on the trot!
14-14 Oh well… Game point-all! Sakai has bounced back into the game right out of nowhere.
13-14 A 33-shot rally comes to an end with Sakai bagging a point at the end of it.
12-14 Ansal heaping pressure on himself as his lead keeps eroding away! He attacks but the shuttle flies out of bounds.
10-14 One gamepoint saved by Sakai. That’s an elementary unforced error from Ansal. Will Sakai have the last laugh?
9-13 Sakai and Ansal are both know for their smashes but a scorching smash from Sakai, this time, sees Ansal lose another point.
7-11 Sakai gives up as Ansal resorts to a backhand shot that just whizzes past the net to land on the other end of the court.
5-9 A 19-shot rally comes to an end with Ansal finding the net.
4-8 Delightful from Sakai as he dominated the centre court during the rally forcing Ansal to move diagonally across. A slower one gets the better of Ansal, who is unable to get back at the nick of time.
3-8 22-year-old Ansal gets a five point cushion as Sakai falters again. The youngster is absolutely showing no nerves against a shuttler who had been in the World’s top-50 once.
2-5 Ansal serves. Eventually, a point goes in favour of the Japanese, after debutant Ansal fails to get to a low one across the left of the court.
1-2 Sakai misjudges the power on that shot as the shuttle goes out of play.
1-0 Sakai gets the first point against India’s World No 241 Ansal.
To start with, we will have Pune’s Kazumasa Sakai looking to bag his first win in the Premier Badminton League, with Bengaluru’s Ansal Yadav standing in his way.
ORDER OF PLAY
|Matches||Pune 7 Aces||Bengaluru Raptors|
|MS2||Kazumasa Sakai||Ansal Yadav|
|MS1||Loh Kean Yew||B Sai Praneeth|
|WS (Bengaluru Trump Match)||Rituparna Das||Tai Tzu Ying|
|MD (Pune Trump Match)||Hendra Setiawan/ Chirag Shetty||Arun George/ Rian Agung Saputro|
|XD||Chris Adcock/ Gabrielle Adcock||Peng Soon Chan/ Eom Hye Won|
After a fabulous start to its campaign at the fifth Premier Badminton League, Pune 7 Aces will look to continue its sterling form when it clashes with Bengaluru Raptors at the Babu Banarasi Das U.P. Badminton Academy in Lucknow on Monday.
Chirag Shetty-Hendra Setiawan, Rituparna Das and Loh Kean Yew, as well as the Commonwealth Games gold medallists Chris and Gabrielle Adcock, showed remarkable resolve to guide Pune to a commanding 5-2 win over Mumbai Rockets in a highly entertaining Maharashtra derby on Saturday.
Shetty’s partnership with the reigning world champion Hendra Setiawan was one of the biggest highlights of the side’s victory.
In a fantastic show of resilience, the two came back to register a 14-15, 15-5, 15-6 win over two-time World Championships bronze medallists Kim Gi Jung and Kim Sa Rang.
Former national champion Rituparna Das also stormed back from a slow start to take the Aces to victory over rising star Shriyanshi Pardeshi before Thailand Masters champion Loh Kean Yew and the Adcocks contributed heavily to Pune’s cause.
Pune looks absolutely a well-oiled machine which has figured out its combinations well this time as it sets sights on holding the PBL trophy aloft for the first time.
“With the superb win that we achieved in our first match, we are high on confidence. It has been a fabulous team effort. Playing alongside Hendra Setiawan has been a great learning experience for me and I am happy to have contributed to Pune’s win,” said the Thailand Open champion Shetty.
Bengaluru Raptors, on the other hand, didn’t have a good start to its title defence. The Raptors have lost both their matches so far to the North Eastern Warriors and the Chennai Superstarz.
World Championships bronze medallist Sai Praneeth’s losses have hurt the team’s chances badly although it can bank on World No. 2 Tai Tzu Ying, who has a flawless 2-0 record so far in the fifth edition of PBL.
“It’s still in the early stages and we are confident of making a comeback. Both our losses have been very close and it is only about remaining calm under pressure. We hope to turn the tables in our next match,” said the former World No. 1.
Sai has never met the World No. 36 Loh Kean Yew on the BWF World Tour and it would be a real test of grit and hunger when the two potentially lock horns.
Bengaluru would also be hoping to ride on the great form shown by its mixed doubles pair of Chan Peng Soon and Eon Hye Won, who triumphed in both their outings so far.
With the Pune team’s mixed doubles attack being spearheaded by the Adcocks, it will be a treat for the fans to witness their wizardry on the court.
(With inputs from PTI)
Where to watch Premier Badminton League Season 5?
The Star Sports Network will telecast all the PBL 2020 matches live. Hotstar will be providing the live online streaming.