Other Sports

Bengaluru Raptors storm into semifiinals

Leverdez and Sai Praneeth help the team blank Warriors

The brilliance of Brice Leverdez and captain B. Sai Praneeth helped defending champion Bengaluru Raptors outplay Awadhe Warriors 5-0 And enter the semifinal of the Premier Badminton League at the Gachibowli Indoor Stadium here on Thursday.

Warriors got off to a perfect start with the men’s combine of Ko Sung Hyun and Shin Baek Cheol scoring an impressive win over Arun George and Rian Agung Saputro.

Raptors’ World No. 39 Brice Leverdez cruised past World No. 64 Ajay Jayaram in the Trump match for the latter. The former overcame a hesitant start — he looked rattled by Jayaram’s deceptive shots at the net — to score six points in a row in the first game and wrap it up in quick time.

In the second, Leverdez was more aggressive as he took a comfortable 8-2 lead only to see Jayaram fight back with a solid net game. However, the Raptors shuttler shifted gears and came up with telling smashes to win five straight points and seal the contest.

Tai Tzu on song

World No. 2 Tai Tzu Ying outslugged a defiant World No. 14 Beiwen Zhang in women’s singles, warding off a spirited comeback by the latter midway through the second game.

Tai swung the match in her favour whenever her opponent gained ground with impeccable drop shots.

With a 2-0 cushion, World No. 11 B. Sai Praneeth, playing the Trump match for Raptors, warded off a spirited challenge from World No. 41 Wong Wing Ki Vincent and gave his team an unbeatable 4-0 lead.

Sai Praneeth’s ability to get his smashes right whenever he was under pressure proved decisive in the final analysis.

Raptors joined North-Eastern Warriors, Chennai Superstarz and Pune 7 Aces in the semifinals.

The results: Bengaluru Raptors bt Awadhe Warriors 5-0 (Arun George & Rian Agung Saputro lost to Ko Sung Hyun & Shin Beak Cheol 15-14, 7-15, 11-15; Brice Leverdez bt Ajay Jayaram (T) 15-9, 15-9; Tai Tzu Ying bt Beiwen Zhang 15-12, 15-12; B. Sai Praneeth (T) bt Wong Wing Ki Vincent 15-11, 15-13; Chan Peng Soon & Eom Hye Won bt Ko Sung Hyun & Christinna Pedersen 7-15, 15-12, 15-11).

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Printable version | Feb 27, 2020 8:52:31 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/other-sports/bengaluru-raptors-storm-into-semifiinals/article30755400.ece

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