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Badminton | Aces put it across Raptors in a see-saw battle; Adcocks deliver

Gabrielle Adcock and Chris Adcock rose to the ocassion for Aces.

Gabrielle Adcock and Chris Adcock rose to the ocassion for Aces.  

Adcocks emerge the saviours

It was a see-saw battle between two potent teams, decided only in the final game of the final match. Chris Adcock and Gabrielle Adcock defeated Chan Peng Soon and Eom Hye Won to clinch the tie for Pune 7 Aces here on Monday.

For the rest of the night, there was hardly anything to separate the teams.

Kazumasa Sakai gave Aces the lead, defeating Ansal Yadav in the first men’s singles by employing an aggressive brand of badminton. Ansal kept Sakai moving about the court with his choice of placement, and in the first game, the two contestants were separated by just a point. But Sakai was undeterred; he kept smashing and closed the contest without much ado.

All eyes were on B. Sai Praneeth, the World No. 11, to level the scores and he did. He had the all-round game to unsettle Loh Kean Yew, but suffered a blip towards the end of the first game. Yew was quick and aggressive, and ran away with his momentum to claim a 1-0 lead in the contest, the winning stroke a fierce smash.

The tables turned in the second game as Sai Praneeth led 8-3 at the break. As he revealed to Sportstar later: “In the first game, we started equally and suddenly, he started playing really fast. He changed his pace suddenly and I made a few mistakes. In the second game, initially I got the lead and then I actually got to know how to play because I got a strategy.”

The strategy was to slow the pace of play, and it worked well. Both players were able to capitalise on the slightest opportunity to smash the shuttle-cock, and Sai Praneeth was excellent with his defence as well, retrieving intrepidly. He had the momentum towards the end of the third game, and walked away with a convincing win.

Raptors’ Trump match was expectedly one-sided. Tai Tzu Ying, the World No. 2, brushed aside Rituparna Das with relative ease, albeit with a brief spell of resistance by the Indian.

Aces’ Trump match was then claimed by the strong men’s doubles pair of Chirag Shetty and Hendra Setiawan. The two trailed for a considerable period in the first game but eventually found their rhythm.

It was left to the Adcocks to decide the winner.

The results:

Bengaluru Raptors lost to Pune 7 Aces 4-3 (Ansal Yadav lost to Kazumasa Sakai 14-15, 9-15; B. Sai Praneeth bt Lon Kean Yew 10-15, 15-7, 15-8; Tai Tzu Ying bt Rituparna Das 15-3, 15-9; Arun George & Rian Agung Saputro lost to Chirag Shetty & Hendra Setiawan 14-15, 3-15; Chan Peng Soon & Eom Hye Won lost to Chris Adcock & Gabrielle Adcock 10-15, 15-11, 15-12).

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Printable version | Feb 25, 2020 12:53:23 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/other-sports/badminton-aces-put-it-across-raptors-in-a-see-saw-battle-adcocks-deliver/article30669038.ece

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