PBL: Doubles do the Job for Pune 7Aces as They Beat Raptors
The show was led by the doubles pairings of Chris and Gabrielle Adcock and Chirag Shetty and Hendra Setiawan.
Pune 7Aces in their second tie of the season defeated the Bengaluru Raptors 4-3. The show was led by the doubles pairings of Chris and Gabrielle Adcock and Chirag Shetty and Hendra Setiawan in Lucknow on Monday. Pune are now placed second in the points table with 10 points.
Meanwhile, World Championships bronze medallist Sai Praneeth notched up his first win of the season while world No. 2 Tai Tzu Ying continued her winning streak.
Having never played Yew on the BWF World Tour, the world No. 11 Sai Praneeth took some time to figure out the Singaporean. Yew was coming after the high of beating 2014 Commonwealth Games champion Parupalli Kashyap in Pune's first tie of the season.
Carrying that momentum into this match, Yew stormed back from a 2-4 deficit to move ahead to 10-8. His pace and power really troubled the former Singapore Open champion India who conceded the opening game 10-15.
Change of ends, however, worked well for the Raptors ace. By injecting pace into his shots, Sai Praneeth was able to turn around the match. Quick footwork and brilliant anticipation skills took the Indian to a huge 11-4 lead. It was then a matter of time before he took the second game 15-7.
Sai Praneeth never relented after that and was able to maintain his aggression. The flurry of attacking shots from Sai Praneeth's end took the wind out of Yew's sails as the Raptors star raced away to a 10-15, 15-7, 15-8 win.
“It was a good game. I saw he beat Kashyap the last time. I am really happy with the win and I hope to continue the momentum. This is definitely a confidence booster. Hope this game is the turning point for us,” said Sai Praneeth after his victory.
The early stages of the women's singles clash between former world No. 1 Tai Tzu and Pune's Rituparna Das turned out to be lopsided as the former Indian national champion really struggled to keep up with the Chinese Taipei ace. Tai Tzu was fully in control of every aspect of the game before pocketing the opener 15-3.
The scene changed in the second game initially as Das relied on some exquisite placement of the shuttle to put Tai Tzu in a spot of bother.
Infusing her strokes with a lot of power, Das built a strong lead of 9-5 but her advantage soon got erased once Tai Tzu found her rhythm. The Raptors Trump first levelled 9-9 before finishing it off 15-3, 15-9 for her third win of the season.
Earlier, the 22-year-old promising talent, Ansal Yadav gave a good account of himself on his PBL debut though he lost to world No. 71 Kazumasa Sakai of the Aces. Showing a lot of determination, the Bengaluru player went down fighting to Sakai 14-15, 9-15.
Pune 7Aces had their hopes on the star-pairing of Hendra Setiawan and Chirag Shetty.
In spite of having such a strong pairing 7Aces trailed at the mid-game break by a point against Arun George and Rian Saputro of the Raptors. It was game point 11 in favour of the Raptors but the World No.2 and No.10 pairing of the 7Aces came back in a heroic manner to win the game 15-14.
The second game saw the Pune 7Aces pairing making a quick work of their opponents and closed the game 15-3 to win the game and the match in straight games to level the tie at 3-3.
It was the decider with the mixed doubles encounter. Chris Adcock and Gabrielle Adcock of Pune 7Aces were going up against the pairing of World No.7 mixed doubles player Peng Soon Chan and World No.30 Eom Hye Won of the Raptors. The first game of the encounter went to the Raptors in a hard-fought game by a scoreline of 10-15.
The second game was comeback time again for the 7Aces, as they went into the mid-game break leading 8-3. The change in the style of play with more attacking intent and better control over the net by the 7Aces was the key element till now. The 7Aces kept the lead alive and finally closed the game 15-11 to take the tie into a deciding game.
The last game was being fought for each and every point and the Raptors went into the mid-game break with a point advantage. It was nail-biting stuff as there were no clear favourites till the very end but it was Pune 7Aces who were able to hold their nerves and closed the game and the match 15-12.
The tie ended with Pune 7Aces winning the same 4-3.
(With inputs from PTI)
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