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Premier Badminton League | North-Eastern Warriors in maiden final

Lee, Isara-Krishna Prasad the architects of the win over Superstarz

A stunning display by Lee Cheuk Yiu and the men’s combination of Bodin Isara and G. Krishna Prasad powered North-Eastern Warriors to its maiden final in the Premier Badminton League at the Gachibowli Indoor Stadium here on Friday. North-Eastern outclassed former champion Chennai Superstarz 3-(-1) in the first semifinal.

Warriors got off to a smooth start when Lee Yong Dae and Kim Ha Na registered a thrilling 15-12, 9-15, 15-14 win over B. Sumeeth Reddy and Jessica Pugh in mixed doubles.

Exciting match

It was an entertaining contest as the scores were level at 12, 13 and 14 in the decider after the pairs had shared the first two games. Yong Dae’s forehand smash settled the issue in North-Eastern Warriors’ favour.

In men’s singles, Warriors’ World No. 18 Lee Cheuk Yiu defeated the more experienced Tommy Sugiarto, World No. 21, in a closely fought match. Lee came up with splendid drops and telling smashes, but made some weak returns too.

To the delight of the Warriors camp, Lee raised his game at crucial junctures in both games against an erratic Sugiarto, who lost his first match of the tournament.

Trailing 2-0, Superstarz had to field B. Sumeeth Reddy and Dhruv Kapila in men’s doubles in its Trump match, the latter replacing the big-hitting R. Satwik Sairaj, recovering from an ankle injury.

The experienced Isara and the young Krishna Prasad combined to pip the Chennai pair in three games. Isara’s tenacity came to the fore as he handled a series of smashes with aplomb and also played well at the net. Superstarz felt the absence of Satwik in this crucial match.

The results: North-Eastern Warriors bt Chennai Superstarz 3-(-1) (Lee Yong Dae & Kim Ha Na bt B. Sumeeth Reddy & Jessica Pugh 15-12, 9-15, 15-14; Lee Cheuk Yiu bt Tommy Sugiarto 15-12, 15-12; Bodin Isara & G. Krishna Prasad bt B. Sumeeth Reddy & Dhruv Kapila (T) 15-13, 14-15, 15-10).

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Printable version | Feb 27, 2020 6:54:22 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/other-sports/premier-badminton-league-north-eastern-warriors-in-maiden-final/article30765542.ece

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