Lucknow, Jan 27: Pune 7Aces in their second tie of the season and eighth tie of the Premier Badminton League defeated the Bengaluru Raptors coming back from 1-3 down in the tie to win it 4-3 at the Babu Banarasi Das Indoor Stadium here on Monday.
The show was led by the doubles pairings of Chris and Gabrielle Adcock and Chirag Shetty and Hendra Setiawan who brought the tie back from a tense state to finally end it in favour of the outfit from Pune. Pune are now placed second in the points table with 10 points from two ties. In the first men’s singles clash, tie started with World No 71 Kazumasa Sakai for Pune 7Aces taking the court against the young Indian Ansal Yadav who was ranked many places below at 241 in the world ranking.
It seeming that young Yadav will take the first game against Sakai who was on the losing end in the last tie against the Rockets as she went into the mid-game break leading 4-8 but Sakai finally brought his ‘A’ game to the fore. It was no stopping the Japanese international as he soon leveled the score after the break and finally closed the game 15-14 coming back from behind.
After the dramatic comeback in game one, it was Sakai who took the initiative and smashed his way past the defence of the left-handed Yadav. Sakai’s attacking play was too much for the young Indian as he closed the game 15-9 and the match in straight games to give Pune 7Aces a 1-0 lead in the tie. In the second men’s singles encounter, it was World No 36 and Thailand Masters 2019 winner Loah Kean Yew from Pune 7Aces who went up against India’s World no11 Sai Praneeth.
The first game was going toe-to-toe as Yew was trailing 5-6 when he got three quick points to go into the mid-game break leading 8-6. Yew and Praneeth were fighting for each point but Yew’s deception and attack combination worked very well and he closed the first game 15-10 in style. The second game though was a different story and went in favour of Praneeth by 7-15. The third game was more evenly contested but after leading initially Yew couldn’t keep the same level of game throughout and finally ended up losing the game and match 8-15 after a hard-fought three-game encounter. The tie stood level at 1-1. Meanwhile, in women’s singles, World No 2 Tai Tzu Ying took to the stage against young Rituparna Das of Pune 7Aces in a trump match for the Raptors. Living up to her reputation the Taiwanese No1 didn’t make many mistakes and closed the first game 15-3.
Though, Das was not ready to back down as she came back strongly in the second game and went into the mid-game break leading 8-2. But after the break, it was Ying who didn’t give the young Indian much chance as she won 12 points on the trot to close the game 15-9 and the trump match in straight sets. With the win, Raptors went into a 3-1 lead. (UNI)