PBL 5: Hyderabad Hunters Look to Challenge North Eastern Warriors

The Chennai franchise has remained unbeaten in three outings and leads the standings with 13 points.

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Badminton
2 min read
Former winners Hyderabad Hunters, led by world champion PV Sindhu, will face-off with North Eastern Warriors at home in the fifth Premier Badminton League (PBL) on Wednesday, 28 January.
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Former winners Hyderabad Hunters, led by world champion PV Sindhu, will face-off with North Eastern Warriors at home in the fifth Premier Badminton League (PBL) on Wednesday, 28 January.

The Hunters have fond memories of lifting the trophy in the third season and they will now look to begin their home campaign on a positive note.

After four days of thrilling action in Lucknow, PBL caravan now moves to the final leg where the GMC Balayogi SATS Indoor Stadium will be hosting the matches from 29 January to 9 February.

With the semi-finals and the final too scheduled to be held in the city, it will be a treat for the badminton-loving fans of the City of Pearls.

The Hyderabad leg is set to witness 15 exciting ties on 12 days, including double headers on three days. With each of the seven teams playing, competition will be at its peak as they fight for the trophy.

It will be a challenge for all the teams to topple the high-flying Chennai Superstarz who have looked solid in every department.

The Chennai franchise has remained unbeaten in three outings and leads the standings with 13 points.

Thailand Open men's doubles champion Satwiksairaj Rankireddy has entertained the crowd with not just his flurry of smashes but with his dancing skills as well and he is in no mood to stop any time soon.

"I am thoroughly enjoying my time with the Chennai team. Beating the last two years' champions has elevated our confidence level and we are not going to settle for anything less than the title," said Rankireddy.

In a blockbuster encounter between the top two teams, Chennai will be put to a stern test by Pune 7 Aces who have been sensational throughout the Lucknow leg, notching up a flawless 2-0 record.

In the first of the double headers on 30 January, Satwik could potentially meet his regular doubles partner, Chirag Shetty who has been phenomenal in his partnership with world champion Hendra Setiawan.

“It has been a very good start for Pune 7 Aces. Our doubles combinations have worked out very well and singles too has fetched us wins. The Lucknow leg has boosted our confidence and we hope to carry on with the same momentum in Hyderabad.”
Chirag Shetty, Pune 7 Aces Player

In the other match of the day, former runners-up Mumbai Rockets will have a tough task against the Guwahati-based franchise.

Defending champions Bengaluru Raptors, who are currently No. 3 in the points table, will take the court on 31 January in a much-awaited clash that will pit World No. 6 Sindhu against the World No. 2 Tai Tzu Ying.

With two more double headers scheduled on 1 February and 4 February, the league will move into the knockouts from 7 February.

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