PBL 2017: North Eastern Warriors trumps Bengaluru Blasters

Follow the live updates and commentary of the Premier Badminton League match between Bengaluru Blasters and North Eastern Warriors.

Viktor Axelsen of Bengaluru Blasters

Good evening and welcome to the live updates of the Premier Badminton League. The caravan moves to the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Chennai and we will have Bengaluru Blasters and the North Eastern Warriors square off to kick-start the Chennai leg.

This is how the teams would lock horns.

Bengaluru Blasters vs North Eastern Warriors

Tie 1: Mixed doubles: Mathias Boe/Kim Sa Rang vs Kim Gi Jung/Shin Baek Cheol

Tie 2: Men's singles: Chong Wei Feng vs Ajay Jayaram (Trump match for Bengaluru)

Tie 3: Women's singles: Kirsty Gilmour vs Michelle Li (Trump match for North East)

Tie 4: Men's singles: Viktor Axelsen vs Wang Tzu Wei

Tie 5: Mixed doubles: Manu Attri/Sikki Reddy vs Shin Baek Cheol/Prajakta Sawant

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That's the end of the day's play. What pulsating matches we have had. Bengaluru won the first tie but slumped in its trump match to lose a point and after North East won its trump match, the tie was sealed. But World No. 1 Viktor Axelsen put Bengaluru's hopes back on track with a comeback win and Sikki Reddy and Manu Attri took the last tie in Bengaluru's favour.

(Bengaluru Blasters wins the fifth tie 12-15, 15-8, 15-9 but loses to North Eastern Warriors 2-3)

15-9 What a win for Bengaluru. Sikki Reddy and Manu Attri are ecsatic.

14-9 Match point for Bengaluru. Sikki with a good smash from the baseline and Prajakta with a weak return.

13-8 What a rally! One the best rallies in the match. 33 shots and Manu closes it with a good winner, down the line.

11-8 An excellent shot by Manu. He has been good with his placements. He smashes to the Cheol's forehand corner for a winner.

10-8 A good shot by Manu and Prajakta in no position with a return.

9-7 Prajakta goes wide and Bengaluru with a two-point lead.

8-7 Bengaluru leads at the mid-game break.

7-7 It should have been an easy winner for Bengaluru but Manu finds the net. Scores level.

7-6 Manu goes just wide on the tramline, on the right.

Bengaluru slips from 6-0 to 6-5.

6-4 A bit of luck for North East. Prajakta's shot just clips the net and falls over to the Bengaluru side.

6-2 Cheol was too good. Sikki was grounded and it was left to Manu to take on the attack. He misses a good forehand shot by Cheol.

6-1 A soft point for North East as Sikki goes long.

5-0 Prajakta with an unforced error on a service return. Bengaluru running away with this.

3-0 Cheol at the net, makes an error, off his forehand. He could have got it over the net. Bengaluru with the early lead.

1-0 Sikki Reddy is on fire. She sends in a series of smashes, the latest being too good for Prajakta to handle.

Third game begins

15-8 Sikki with a neat forehand winner. Bengaluru Blasters forces the decider.

14-8 What a shot by Sikki. She leaps and smashes and Prajakta can only return it wide.

13-8 Manu just pushes it to the net.

13-7 A superb service return by Manu. Times it well to Cheol's forehand corner.

11-6 That was a good shot by Manu. He times it well, off his forehand.

9-5 An unforced error by Cheol, off a Manu forehand.

8-5 Prajakta finds the net with a forehand shot from the baseline as Bengaluru leads at the mid-game break.

6-5 After some stupendous work by Manu in the previous point, he goes wide this time.

5-4 Cheol with a forehand winner, Manu's return crashes on the net.

5-3 This time Sikki with an unforced error at the net.

5-1 Prajakta commits an unforced error. She finds the net off the backhand, off a Sikki shot.

4-0 Bengaluru with the early momentum and the lead.

2-0 Good work by Manu, at the net. He smashes a forehand winner.

1-0 Prajakta goes wide at the tramline.

Second game begins

12-15 North East warriors wins the first game.

12-14 Good shot by Sikki at the net. She changes her racquet as the string snaps.

11-13 Prajakta with another unforced error, at the net. Bengaluru tries to crawl back.

10-12 An unforced error by Prajakta.

9-12 Cheol with a good forehand winner and Manu cannot reach to the shuttle.

9-9 Excellent placement by Sikki. She bisected Prajakta and Cheol with precision, down the line.

7-9 Cheol goes long and a good judgement by Manu to leave it.

6-8 Manu goes long at the baseline and Cheol and Prajakta in the lead at the mid-game break.

5-6 Excellent communication between Manu and Sikki. Sikki with a neat forehand winner.

4-5 A neat cross court placement from Cheol.

4-4 Sikki with a good effort at the net again. Good drop shot.

3-4 Three back-to-back points for North East.

3-1 That was a good placement by Sikki Reddy. She targeted Cheol's backhand corner and placed it well with a cross court effort.

1-1 Good work by Sikki at the net.

0-1 Manu Attri finds the net with a forehand. North East gets the first point of the tie.

First game begins

Tie 5: Mixed doubles: Manu Attri/Sikki Reddy vs Shin Baek Cheol/Prajakta Sawant

Time for the last tie of the evening.

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(Bengaluru Blasters wins the fourth tie 9-15, 15-13, 15-14 but trails North Eastern Warriors 1-3)

15-14 What a win for the World No. 1. Axelsen beats Wei and Bengaluru gets first points on the board.

14-14 What a match. A golden point. Axelsen goes wide.

13-14 Match point for Axelsen. Wei is on the ground again, in an attempt to return a forehand shot.

13-13 Wei draws level. The North East player just times it well, away from Axelsen.

13-12 Wei on the net, another forehand unforced error and Axelsen with a slender lead.

11-11 Wei with a cross court attempted smash and he finds the net.

10-10 Bengaluru draws level as Wei goes wide and he hangs his head in disbelief.

9-10 Wei goes long at the baseline and Axelsen's judgemental skills are good.

Victor Axelsen crawls back with two points on the trot. He trails 8-10.

Wei and North East rubbing salt into Bengaluru's wounds.

6-9 Wei opens a lead again, leaps and smashes it down.

6-8 North East in the lead again, at the mid-game break.

6-7 This is going to the wire. Terrific pace by both players. Axelsen neatly times it away from Wei.

5-6 Axelsen fails to take a forehand shot by Wei.

5-4 That was a good finish by Axelsen. Wei runs out of batteries and is grounded at the end of the rally. It had everything from smashes to drop shots to net shots. Top class badminton.

4-3 That was a good return by Wei, on Axelsen's body and the World No. 1 can get it on the net only.

4-2 Axelsen with a good forehand winner. A neat half-smash.

3-2 Wei reaches to the shuttle in a flash and that was a good forehand winner.

2-1 Wei leaps and smashes it well to Axelsen's backhand corner.

1-0 Axelsen smashes and Wei cannot reach it on his forehand.

Third game begins

15-13 It is down to the wire as Axelsen draws level. Excellent determination from the World No. 1. This tie is down to the decider.

14-13 What a rally and what a shot. Wei grounded and Axelsen finishes off with a neat cross court push. Wei did well to pick up a couple of good shots by Axelsen.

12-13 Axelsen hits wide.

12-12 Wei goes long at the baseline and scores level.

11-12 Wei smashes and finds the net.

10-11 Good run of points from Axelsen as he sends in good winners.

7-11 Wei smashes and Axelsen left clueless.

7-10 An unforced error by Axelsen.

Axelsen challenges a call on the baseline. Wei almost has hit long here. The replays conclude that the Axelsen's challenge is unsuccesful. 6-9, in favour of Wei now.

6-8 Wei goes into the mid-game break with the lead again. The World No. 1 and Bengaluru desperately look for a turn around.

6-6 Wei and North East draw level.

Wei leaves a high Axelsen shot and challenges the call. The shuttle falls on the baseline and the call is unsuccessful. 6-5 in favour of Axelsen.

4-5 What a finish by Wei. He uses the width of the court, smashes one from the baseline and Axelsen hits the return wide.

4-4 Axelsen leaps and smashes from the back but it was straight into the net.

4-2 There was a net assistance for Axelsen as the shuttle drops into Wei's court after a tussle at the net.

3-1 The Bengaluru player with a one-handed backhand and it goes long at the baseline, again.

2-1 Wei goes long at the baseline.

1-0 Wei errors at the net and Axelsen with the first point.

Second game begins

9-15 Axelsen finds the net and Wei wins the first game.

9-13 Wei attacks relentlessly and Axelsen makes an unforced error.

9-12 North East and Wei look to compound Bengaluru's misery.

8-10 Wei smashes it into Axelsen's body and the World No. 1 cannot get his body away.

7-9 That was a superb drop shot by Wei. He moved into the net quickly and executed the shot with perfection. Top class game.

6-8 That was a neat placement from Axelsen.

5-8 That was a good shot and Wei leads at the mid-game break.

5-7 The World no. 1 finds an opening and smashes fiercely.

4-6 Axelsen goes long at the baseline and North East with an early lead.

4-4 Axelsen with a good push and a diving Wang cannot return it.

1-3 Wei finishes the rally with a neat cross court finish.

The tie starts with a player challenge. Wei goes long and goes for the challenge and loses it. Axelsen starts off with the point. 1-0.

First game begins

Tie 4: Men's singles: Viktor Axelsen vs Wang Tzu Wei

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(North Eastern Warriors wins the third tie and takes an unassailable lead over Bengaluru Blasters 3-0 and wins the tie)

Out of nowhere, Li sealed the match 7-15, 15-14, 15-13. And North East, after beating Bengaluru in its trump match, wins its own trump match.

15-13. A Gilmour smash only finds the net and hands Li an amazing win!

14-13. Gilmour goes for an expansive cross-court forehand, only hits the net.

13-13.

13-12. Li stretches to her left hand side and then the backhanded return is too good for Gilmour, whose attempted drop in response catches the net.

12-12. Li moved Gilmour all over the court and the pressure eventually paid off.

11-12. Gilmour's shot is fractionally wide, to Li's left.

10-12. A cross-court backhand from Gilmour and Li, deep in the court, cannot get under the shuttle to miss the net.

10-11. An unforced error from Gilmour.

9-11. Gilmour's power game is too good for Li.

9-10. A cross-court drop from Li and Gilmour can only catch the net with her return.

8-10. Gilmour with a couple of smashes, at the body of Li.

8-9. Li with a backhand cross court to which Gilmour has no answer.

7-9. A cross-court overhead smash from Gilmour to the backhand of Li.

7-8. Gilmour with a forehand unforced error.

6-8. Li's shot is long, well-judged by Gilmour, who saw it drop over the baseline.

6-7. Li with a series of smashes from all angles and her third smash is too strong for Gilmour to return.

5-7. Gilmour with a smash down the line.

5-6. A poor shot from Li, her smash goes down and under the net.

5-5. A cross-court smash from Gilmour after having dragged Li to her left.

5-4. A hard-fought point from both players. Li comes up with the goods in the end.

4-4. Gilmour's jump smash is too strong for Li to return. All square.

4-3. Gilmour with a jump smash at Li's body.

4-2. Li with a great drop shot, Gilmour made to stretch.

3-2. Li's serve is long.

2-1. Li's playing with new-found confidence here. Gilmour's indecision costs her a point, as she decides to pick up the shuttle at the last moment after anticipating it to drop long and can only hit the net.

1-1. Li's pickup is long and over the baseline.

1-0. Li moves Gilmour all over the court and Gilmour's backhanded return is tame.

Third game begins

Gilmour, at 12-8, had the game and the match in her pocket. But a series of unforced errors and Li-'s never-say-die attitude take this match to a deciding game.

15-14! Li wins the second game and takes the match to a decider.

14-14. All square! Gilmour catches the net with an attempted drop.

13-14. Gilmour's pickup is long, well over the baseline.

12-14. A smash down the middle from Gilmour.

12-13. Li with back to back smashes at Gilmour's body and she can't return at the second time of asking.

11-13. Hmmm... this time her pickup is long and wide.

11-12. A big, down the line smash, again, from Li! Three points in a row!

10-12. A forehand unforced error, catches the net again.

9-12. Gilmour's return catches the net.

8-12. A serve that went long, from Li.

8-11. A big, down the line smash from Li. Too little too late?

7-11. Gilmour set up this point cleverly. Li was on the backfoot all the time and her tame return is smashed down the middle by Gilmour.

7-10. Li's attempted drop catches the net.

7-8. Li's pickup lands just inside.

6-8. Gilmour goes into the break with a two-point lead.

6-7. Gilmour with a jump smash and Li's backhand is so tame it only hits the net.

6-6. Gilmour with a forehand unforced error.

5-6. Long from Gilmour, with a overhead smash.

4-6. Li with a cross-court smash which Gilmour, who is deep in her court, can't get her racquet to.

3-6. Li looks to disguise a drop shot, catches the net in the process.

3-5. Gilmour hits the net on her return.

2-5. Gilmour looks to place her shot to the left of Li, drags it wide.

1-5. A carbon copy of the previous point from Gilmour! Li not coming up with the answers.

1-4. This time a smash to Li's right! Brutal!

1-3. Cornered! Gilmour with a smash down the middle after dragging Li to her left.

1-2. Li makes Gilmour stretch to her left and the return hits the net.

0-2. Relentless from Gilmour! Her smash to the backhand of Li is unreturned.

0-1. Li's attempted smash at the body is long, Gilmour swayed out of the way.

Second game begins.

Remember this is a Trump Match for Bengaluru Blasters.

7-15. Well wide! Li's wild smash hands Gilmour the opening game.

7-14. Tremendous defence from Gilmour forces an error off Li, who hits the net with her return.

7-13. A down the line smash from Gilmour.

7-12. Long from Gilmour.

6-12. This time Li places the shuttle inside the baseline.

5-12. Li's shot is long and well over the baseline.

5-11. Gilmour is on top of her game at the moment, Li cannot cope!

5-10. Li drags her shot wide, to the left of Gilmour.

5-9. A well-disguised drop from Gilmour!

5-8. Li's smash is well wide, to the right of Gilmour.

5-7. Gilmour's smash catches the net once again. Li clawing her way back.

4-7. An overhead backhand from Gilmour catches the net.

2-7. Li cannot return Gilmour's drop.

1-6. Gilmour with a smash down the middle.

1-5. Gilmour's excellent defence is rewarded; Li's smash is long and well beyond the baseline.

1-4. Li with a net hit again with an overhead smash.

1-2. Li's pickup hits the netm two points back to back for Gilmour.

1-1. This time Li hits the net in return.

1-0. Gilmour with an unforced error.

Michelle Li to serve.

First game begins

It is a re-match of the 2014 Commonwealth Games final.

Tie 3: Women's singles: Kirsty Gilmour vs Michelle Li (Trump match for North East)

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(North Eastern Warriors wins the second tie and leads Bengaluru Blasters 1-0)

Ajay wins 15-8, 15-13.

13-15 Ajay wins it. Bengaluru loses its trump match.

13-14 Feng goes long at the baseline and Ajay has a match point. Bengaluru staring down the barrel in its trump match.

13-13 Scores level. Ajay blows up a good lead. Ajay with a poor return.

12-13 Feng crawls back. Ajay missing his timing.

11-13 Ajay controlled the rally but a weal push sends the shuttle on the net.

9-12 That was a horrible placement from Feng. He sends it wide on the side.

9-11 Ajay's shot hits the net and goes on to Feng's body. That was a lucky point.

9-10 Feng with a weak return from the baseline as the shuttle thuds on to the net.

Feng with a challenge. It was called out and it stays out. Ajay restores parity at 9-9.

9-8 Feng sends a good forehand winner and Ajay's stretch not enough for a return.

Ajay challenges a call on the baseline and the shuttle falls just out and it allows Feng to draw level at 8-8.

7-8 A Feng wins a 34-shot rally after the break. He places it well, down the line.

6-8 back-to-back points by Ajay and North East in control at the mid-game break.

6-6 That was a good smash down the line by Ajay and follows up with a neat cross court half-smash to draw level.

6-4 A good point by Ajay. He pushes Feng long and follows up with a drop shot and Feng cannot return.

6-3 Feng places it a tad wide and Ajay gets the point.

5-2 Feng is fighting back. He is getting going here. That was a good winner.

4-2 A good cross court winner by Feng.

3-2 A good smash by Ajay down the line.

3-1 That was a good placement by Feng. Ajay misjudges it and the shuttle falls well inside the tramline.

1-1 Feng commits an unforced error. He has been struggling at the backhand corner. His return thuds on to the net.

Second game begins

8-15 Ajay and North East win the game and Bengaluru has got off to a horrible start in its trump match.

8-14 Game point for Ajay.

7-13 A forehand unforced error by Ajay.

6-13 What a point for Ajay. He was grounded, managed to get on his feet and took a good drop shot and pushed for a winner.

6-12 Feng goes wide at the tramline, at Ajay's backhand corner.

6-11 A good smash by Ajay and a weak return by Feng.

6-10 Feng almost went long, at the baseline, but the shuttle dropped in. Misjudgement by Ajay.

4-10 An excellent cross court shot by Ajay. The shuttle dropped on Feng quickly and he couldn't return, even with a dive.

4-9 Another unforced error by Feng.

4-8 Feng commits an unforced error, at the net, and Ajay leads at the mid-game break.

2-7 That was a good response from Jayaram. He smashes it to Feng's forehand but he cannot return it.

2-6 Feng smashes straight to Ajay's body and gets the point as Ajay is in no position to return.

1-5 North East with the early momentum. He sends a good backhand and Feng leaves it thinking it would go out of the baseline, but the shuttle falls inside.

1-3 Ajay picks up back-to-back points, with the last point coming as Feng goes long.

1-0 Feng gets in a smash, down the line, to Ajay's forehand corner and has timed it well.

First game begins

Tie 2: Men's singles: Chong Wei Feng vs Ajay Jayaram (Trump match for Bengaluru)

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(Bengaluru Blasters wins the first tie 15-12, 7-15, 15-12 and leads North Eastern Warriors 1-0)

15-12 Boe smashes it well and Kim Sa Rang cannot retrieve it easily. What a start for Bengaluru.

14-12 Jung smashes and Boe cannot return. North East in the hunt.

Match point for Bengaluru

13-11 Boe misjudges and the shuttle drifts back in, from the baseline, off a Cheol shot.

13-9 Kim Sa Rang smashes it at Cheol's body and the North East player hits wide.

12-8 Boe leaves a long shot at the last moment and the shuttle goes over the baseline. That was a good judgement from the Bengaluru player.

12-8 Cheol smashes and North East gets the serve.

11-7 That was good smash by Boe, well placed down the line.

9-7 Jung with some shoddy work at the net and Bengaluru gets the point.

8-7 Mathias Boe can only find the net in an attempted return.

8-6 Bengaluru with the lead at the mid-game break.

7-6 Bengaluru with the slender lead. Kim in an attempted dribble and finds the net.

5-5 Cheol returns well and Rang finds the net in a push shot. It is even-stevens.

4-4 This decider is going down to the wire. Jung with a good smash and Boe cannot return ti well.

3-3 Jung makes winners and placements look so easy. He picked his spot and pushed the shuttle with ease.

3-2 Rang executes a good drop shot and Jung and Cheol cannot get there.

1-2 Choel executes a good smash and Boe cannot reach it on his forehand.

1-1 Rang with a good winner.

Third game begins

7-15 What an effort by Kim and North East forces the decider.

7-13 What a shot! Kim leaps and sends in a great smash and it was too tough for Bengaluru.

7-12 Boe gets in a good winner and gets the serve.

5-11 Exceptional placement by Cheol. The cross-court angle was too good to be a winner.

4-10 A tremendous return by Cheol. North East with a 6-point lead.

4-9 Jung goes long on his backhand.

3-8 North East leads at the mid-game break. Kim and Cheol are determined to make a contest out of this.

3-7 Cheol smashes and it is on Rang's body and the player finds the net.

3-6 Shin hits long and that was a good leave by Rang. Bengaluru on serve.

2-5 That was good placement by Jung again. He is dominating this game now.

2-3 That was good return by Jung and the Bengaluru players fails to return.

1-2 Boe finds the net and North East takes the early lead.

Second game begins

15-12 Bengaluru wins the first game. Kim Sa Rang with a winner.

14-13 Game point for Bengaluru. What a comeback.

13-11 Bengaluru takes the lead. That's five points on the trot. Good drop shots wins it for Bengaluru.

11-11 Bengaluru picks up three points on the trot and equalises. Kim Sa Rang at it again. He helps Bengaluru draws level. Immaculate placement and good winers.

8-11 North East has raced to a three-point lead. Boe sends it long.

7-9 That was a good rally. A good defence from both sides as Kim finds space on the tram line and places it well there. Rang cannot reach it off his forehand.

7-8 Jung smashes it down the line as North East takes the lead at the mid-game break.

6-6 Mathias Boe cannot it beyond the net off a return. Scores level again.

5-5 Boe hits wide and the scores are level.

5-3 Boe hammers it and Kim guides it wide.

3-2 Kim Sa Rang helps Bengaluru get back into the game. He sends in a couple of good smashes and forehand winners.

0-1 North East starts off in sublime fashion. Cheol smashes it down the line.

First game begins

Tie 1: Mixed doubles: Mathias Boe/Kim Sa Rang vs Kim Gi Jung/Shin Baek Cheol