Hunters takes Blasters to the cleaners

As it happened: Hyderabad Hunters whitewash Bengaluru Blasters 6-(1).

Carolina Marin's singles match against K. Gilmour will not be hers and Hunters' trump match.   -  Jothi Ramalingam

Hello and welcome to Sportstar's live commentary of the Premier Badminton League Tie between Hyderabad Hunters and Bengaluru Basters.

The PBL caravan is in its final leg of the season, being played in Hyderabad. Today is the 20th and final Tie of the league stage, but the semifinal line-up has already been decided. On Wednesday, the Delhi Dashers registered an emphatic 4-1 win over North Eastern Warriors. Here is our report from the match.

The following are the matches lined up in tonight's Tie:

Match 1: Mixed doubles: Bernadet/Rankireddy vs N. S. Reddy/M. Attri

Match 2: Men's singles: B.S. Praneeth vs C. W. Feng

Match 3: Women's singles: Carolina Marin vs K. Gilmour

Match 4: Men's singles: L. H. Il vs S. Dey (Trump match for Hunters)

Match 5: Men's doubles: M. Kido/Y. Y. Seong vs K. S. Rang/M. Boe (Trump match for Blasters)

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Match 5: Men's doubles: M. Kido/Y. Y. Seong beat K. S. Rang/M. Boe (Trump match for Blasters) 15-10, 11-15, 15-7

Hunters whitewas the Blasters 6-(1)

15-7: Frustrating night for the Blasters, especially for Boe, comes to an end.

13-6: An alert Boe smacks it down the middle; the Blasters had no time to react.

12-6: Kido's turn to smash his way into the limelight.

11-6: Rang's forehand splits the Hunters down the middle.

11-4: Kido's quick hands are too much for the Blasters to handle.

10-4: A very long rally, 33 shots, ends with Seong hitting the net.

10-2: Hunters playing some exhibition badminton.

8-2: Hunters coasting at the break.

7-2: Seong precision is clinical. His backhand clips the line at the far side.

6-2: More unforced errors from the Blasters

4-1: Blasters erring consistently.

3-1: Hunters gets three points on the trot.

0-1: Blasters open the scoring.

Game 3

11-15: And Blasters force the match to a decider.

11-14: Great smashes from Kido, the last one returned to the sideline.

10-14: Great shot from Boe, hammers it across the court.

9-13: Kido's smash has Rang erring.

8-13: Boe caught short by Seong's drop.

7-12: Blasters inch closer to the game.

7-10: Blasters getting in the way of each other. Gift for Hunters.

6-10: And the Blasters redeems itself.

6-9: Confusion from Blasters leads to an error.

5-8: That's exceptional from Rang. Blasters lead at the break.

5-7: Error from Seong. Returns it straight to the net.

5-5: Beautiful jump drop from Seong. Hunters levels scores.

4-5: Great smash down the middle from Seong.

4-3: Error from Boe.

2-3: Brute force from Kido. Smash lands in front of Rang.

1-2: Error from a frustrated Boe gifts Hunters its opening point.

0-1: Blasters opens account.

Game 2

15-10: Game for the Hunter, and the team is looking very good on court.

12-10: Superb play from Seong. Great hit.

11-10: Bad error from Boe, and he throws his racquet in the air in disgust.

9-9: Massive smash from Yeong is too hot for Rang, whose return is well wide.

8-8: Mistake from Rang, gets in Boe's way and smashes the return to the ground.

6-8: Quick hands from Yeong, wins the point for Hunters.

5-8: Great smash from Boe down the middle as Blasters have a 3-point cushion at the mid-game break.

5-7: Kido's turn to hit it to the net

5-6: Seong smashes it to the net, point for Hunters.

5-5: Wide from Seong.

4-4: Just goes wide from Boe. Point for the Hunters.

3-4: Blasters get the point.

2-2: Frantic start here. Errors leading to points.

1-0: Quick first point for the Hunters. Too wide from the Blasters

Game 1

Match 5: Men's doubles: M. Kido/Y. Y. Seong vs K. S. Rang/M. Boe (Trump match for Blasters)

Match 4: Men's singles: Lee H. Il beats Subhakar Dey 15-11, 11-15, 15-11 (Trump match for Hunters)

Hunters leads 5-0

15-11: Lee floors Dey and gets the game and match!

14-11: Lee goes too wide, Dey screams in delight.

13-10: Brilliant from Dey, his return clips Lee's racquet and gives him a point.

13-9: Dey too far wide. The drift in the air didn't help his cause

12-8: Lee redeems himself with a smash down the line.

11-8: Unforced error from Lee opens the door for the Indian.

10-7: Battle at the net but Lee outsmarts Dey with a backhand poke to the open space.

9-7: Lee returns the smash to the net. Point for Blasters and Dey.

9-6: Lee responds with a smash of his own.

8-6: Superb smash from Dey, he is pumped up.

8-4: Dey gifted the point. Lee too wide.

8-3: Great smash from Lee, in the driving seat at the mid-game break.

7-3: Too long from Dey. More unforced errors from the Indian.

5-3: Lee has put it wide. Should have been an easy winner but his overhead forehand was wide.

5-2: The very athletic Dey pushing Lee to the edge. Lee errs by going too long.

5-1: Dey losing concentration. Too low his return.

3-1: Wow. Two superb diving returns kept Dey in the point and once he got the opening, he placed his smash in the open space.

3-0: Lee is not giving Dey an inch. Great smash from the South Korean.

1-0: Lee opens his account thanks to Dey's error.

Game 3

11-15: And Dey deservedly wins the second game. A fighting performance from the Indian.

11-14: Dey is one point away from forcing a decider.

11-12: Lee is now upping the ante. Great change of direction from him and his back-hand poke has Dey seeing stars.

10-12: Back-to-back points for Lee. First an error, but this point was all Lee. Jump smash too fast for Dey to return.

8-12: Superb play from Dey! Excellent reach from Dey to his right-hand side and the point goes to him.

7-11: Bad error from Dey, bit wide. Could this be the turning point?

6-11: Error from Lee sees Dey inch closer to the game.

6-10: Fighting game fro Dey. He is pushing Lee to the limit. Great point for the Indian.

6-9: Great smash from Dey.

5-8: Great rally, 30 shots, sees Dey lead at the mid-game break. The Indian won 8 consecutive points.

5-6: Four points on the bounce from Dey courtesy Lee errors.

5-4: A loopy shot from Lee is out by a hair's whisker.

5-3: Superb cross-court smash from Dey. Great power and shape.

5-1: Error from Lee opens the account for Dey. 30-shot rally.

4-0: Another hit to the net from Dey.

3-0: Error from Dey, shouldn't be gifting Lee points like that. His meek return doesn't cross the net.

1-0: Lee is incredible. His smash was too hot for Dey to handle.

Game 2

15-11: And there's the game. Lee lured Dey to the net ad poked one towards the far side. Game 1 for the Hunters.

14-10: Bad misjudgement from Dey. It was a good rally but he undid all the good work with a lapse in concentration.

12-9: Dey's cross-court smash gets him the point. This is now the fastest of the day, 413kmph.

12-8: Lee dictating the pace but his backhand is wide. Point for Dey.

11-7: Lee smashes down the line and wrong foots Dey, ends the latter's 3-point win streak.

10-6: Consecutive points for Dey courtesy Lee errors. First hit the net, second was too long.

9-4: Lee's smash called out, he challenges it and it goes in his favour. It just clipped the line. Fine margins.

8-3: Good smash from Dey. Lee has no chance. 383 kmph the speed. Fastest of the day.

8-2: Perseverance from Lee just grinding down his opponent. He leads at the mid-game break.

7-2: Again too long from Dey. Lee making quiet work of his opponent.

5-2: Good jump smash from Dey at Lee's body. Point for Blasters.

5-1: Dey commits another unforced error. Too long.

4-1: Superb smash down the line from Lee.

3-1: Error from Lee. Dey scores first point.

3-0: Too long from Dey. Dey challenges it but the original call was the right one.

1-0: Lee opens his account courtesy a slipup from Dey.

Game 1

Match 4: Men's singles: Lee Hyun Il vs Subhankar Dey (Trump match for Hunters)

Match 3: Women's singles: Carolina Marin beat K. Gilmour 15-9, 15-7.

Hunters lead Blasters 3-0.

15-7: Gilmour's smash is too long as Marin takes the game and match. It was easy for the World No. 1

13-7: Too long from Marin, she's only delaying the inevitable.

12-6: Too easy for Marin. Gilmour feeds her a smash at the net.

10-6: Missed that one, Marin. Relief for Gilmour.

9-5: Gilmour gifts the point again. She hits the net yet again. Marin lets out her scream.

8-5: Another unforced error from Gilmour. Marin leads at the mid-game break.

7-5: Point for Gilmour. Her jump smash floor Marin, who returned anyway. But Gilmour had acres of space to place her backhand.

7-4: Great drop from Marin.

5-4: Good point for Gilmour. Made Marin scamper across the court and her return was too wide.

5-3: Gilmour finds the net from close range. Poor error.

4-3: Down the line from Marin, great point for the Spaniard.

3-3: Bad error from Gilmour. Her drop attempt was too soft.

2-2: Backhand poke defeats Gilmour. Marin lets out a scream.

1-2: Too long from Gilmour.

0-2: Well wide from Marin.

0-1: Gift for Gilmour. Error from Marin.

Game 2

15-9: Bad serve from Gilmour sees Marin take the first game.

14-9: Too long from Marin.

14-8: Gilmour's shot was called out, she challenges it. The original call was wrong, shuttle just catches the line.

14-7: Well wide from Gilmour. Too many errors from her. Marin on her way to the first game.

13-7: Superb point from the World No. 1 Spaniard. Her drop was too good, outfoxed Gilmour.

11-7: Error of judgement from Gilmour. Marin shot well inside the line.

9-7: Easily the best rally of the match. Combination of drops and smash ends with Marin erring.

9-6: Rare error from Marin.

9-5: Gilmour gets one back. Her forehand beats Marin.

9-4: Another brutal forehand from Marin. Another point for her, another scream from her.

8-4: Too long from Gilmour. Marin leads at the mid-game break.

7-4: Superb cross-court smash from Marin. She lets out her trademark shrill scream. The Spaniard is pumped.

6-4: Marin's smash down the middle is too good for Gilmour.

5-3: Marin's forehand bit wide. Point for Gilmour.

5-2: Jump smash from Gimour is just wide. It did root Marin to her spot.

4-2: Error from Gilmour. Her returns smacks against the net.

3-2: Long from Gilmour. Great judgement from Marin.

2-2: Too good from Gilmour. Her smash easily defeats Marin.

2-1: Consecutive errors from Gilmour.

1-1: Gilmour finds the net. Point to Marin.

0-1: Gilmour opens her account.

Game 1

Match 3: Women's singles: Carolina Marin vs K. Gilmour

Match 2: Sai Praneeth wins the match 10-15, 15-7, 15-4

Hyderabad Hunters 2-0 Bengaluru Blasters

 

15-14 Feng hits the chord to concede the golden point.

14-14 That return was definitely curving in. Sai completely misjudges it.

14-13 Feng hanging in there.

14-12 A cross court smash for the winner from Sai.

13-12 A good two-point recovery from Feng. A fantastic rally comprising quick net play and smashes. Sai hits one long to concede the point.

13-10 A 20-shot rally. A desperate Feng attempts a cross-court wide to Sai's left, but the shuttle lands outside the line.

12-10 This time Feng's hit fails to cross the net.

11-10 A cross court winner from Sai.

10-9 Sai attempts a soft touch drop to a dipping return, the shuttle obviously catches the net.

9-8 A great defensive game earns Feng the lead.

9-7 Feng misjudges again, leaves the shuttle unattended.

8-7 Sai takes the mid-interval lead again. 

7-7 Sai levels for the first time in this game to keep the pressure on.

6-7 Feng targets the left side again, but this time the shuttle sails long.

5-6 Sai Praneeth gets the point after forcing Feng to error with a hard smash.

3-5 Praneeth hits long and challenges the out call. Unsuccessful again.

3-4 Third Game, same strategy and same effect. Whenever FEng targets Sai's left corner with a smash, he gets his winner.

2-3 Unforced error from the Malaysian. He hit the ball at a lower elevation and that surely wasn't enough.

1-2 Sai Praneeth sends down a forehand winner at the net. That was power-packed.

0-1 A 35-shot rally to begin the game. An unforced error from Sai gives Feng the point.

Third and Final game

15-7 He converts his second gamepoint after Feng's error. Levels the score 1-1 after two games.

14-6 Eight game points for Sai.

12-6 Sai rewarded for his commitment. He dived right to return a shot and Feng softly places it outside the right alley.

11-6 This time, Sai wins a poiint with a deceptive push from the net.

10-6 Sai playing some attacking badminton right now. His jump smashes to second successive point.

8-6 Sai has the lead going into the mid-game break. He lost from the same position in the first game. Will he keep his tempo this time?

7-6 An unsuccessful challenge from Sai for a ball that fell just a wee bit outside left tramline.

6-5 A brilliant point from FEng after an entertaining rally. No prizes for guessing which area he targeted for the winner. Sai Praneeth stood transfixed to the spot at the centre line. 

5-3 Sai with a drop from the net. He has been very effective with that shot. 

4-2 Feng challenging an out call. Close call, but the referee gets it right. The ball was going out.

2-2 Hunters' Sai goes for the kill from the net.. Hits the target with ease for the point.

1-1  Sai gets a soft point.

Second Game.

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10-15 Bengaluru Blasters' Feng wins the first game with a clear over Sai's head that falls on the centre line.

10-14 Feng gets a drop from the net to Sai's weak corner.

10-13 An unforced errror from Sai. A flick sails wide .

10-12 Cheng gets another point in the same are.

10-10 Feng has certainly found Sai's chink. He has got a lot of points smashing to Sai's left corner.

10-8 Sai comes up with a smash winner to his right.

8-9 Feng using his left anded smash quite well. Sai Praneeth finding it difficult to move to his left to retrieve. Two successive points lost in the same area for Sai.

8-6 Sai Praneeth goes into the mid-interval with a two-point lead.

5-6 Sai smashes, Feng blocks, Sai returns, Feng smashes. That's a winner.

5-5 Little to choose between the two, Blasters' Feng makes a judgment error by assuming that the shuttle was going long

3-5 A momentary lapse of concentration from Sai Praneeth. Fails to return one from the net. That was a 28-shot rally.

3-4 A beautiful half-smash from Sai.

2-2 Sai Praneeth wisely lets the ball pass. It was clearly landing outside.

1-2 Feng gets an easy point after Sai Praneeth tries to smash one, but shuttle is too low and catches the net.

1-0  Hunters' Sai Praneeth wins the first point with a low return

Game 1

Match 2: Men's singles: B.S. Praneeth vs C. W. Feng

Match 1: Mixed doubles: Bernadet/Rankireddy beat N. S. Reddy/M. Attri 15-6, 14-15, 15-9

Hunters lead the Blasters 1-0

15-9: And that's that. Hunters coast through the match, as Sikki Reddy experiences her first loss of the season.

14-9: Redemption from Attri, smash gets Blasters a point.

14-8: Bad serve from Attri.

13-8: Good smash from Attri, Bernadet returns it to the net.

13-7: But Hunters back to winning ways. Great smash from Bernadet at Sikki's body.

12-7: Too long from the Hunters. Blaster continue inching

12-6: Fighting smash from Sikki Reddy. But the gap is still large.

12-5: Wide from Satwik, point for Blasters.

12-4: Another bad error from Sikki. Way out from her.

11-4: Rushed return from Bernadet can only find the net.

10-3: Attri now gets in the way of Sikki, return the shuttle meant for her and gifts a point to the Hunters.

9-3: Too long from Sikki. She shouldn't be gifting the points.

8-2: Hunters goes into the mid-game break with a healthy lead in the deciding game.

6-2: Touch of fortune for Satwik. His smash is tipped over by the white line on the net.

5-2: Super smash from Satwik. At Sikki's body, she has no chance to return.

4-1: Super smash from Sikki. Overhead left-hander is too good.

4-0: Another smash from Satwik.

3-0: Exceptional overhead poke from Bernadet. No chance for the Blasters.

1-0: Attri finds net

Game 3

14-15: Wow. Blasters back from nowhere! They have taken the second game and forced the match into a third!

14-14: Error from Bernadet. We have a deciding point!

14-13: Comeback from Blasters? Sikki Reddy's cross-court forehand clip's Satwik's racquet on its way out.

14-11: Satwik too good again. But this, it wasn't the power; his deft touch was class.

13-11: Bad leave from Attri. Misjudges the long one from Bernadet.

12-10: Satwik's smashes are far too powerful. But have to mention the confusion among the Blasters. It is costing the team.

10-10: Sikki again gets in Attri's way. Another point gifted to the Hunters.

9-9: More confusion. Sikki smashes the shuttle at Attri's face.

8-9: Bit of communication gap among the Blasters. Sikki Reddy's attempts, and fails, at a return that Attri should have taken. Point to Hunters

7-9: Nice overhead forehand from Attri.

7-8: Satwik finds the net, gifts the point to Blasters. Slender lead for Bengaluru at the mid-game break.

7-7: Another brutal smash from Satwik. But doesn't go past the net. In fact, he almost took his partner's ear out. Point to Blasters.

7-5: Brutal from Satwik. 377 kmph that smash.

5-5: Wow. 24-shot rally sees Bernadet place her backhand across the court a bit too wide. Point for the Blasters.

5-4: Backhand poke from Satwik too long. Point to Blasters.

5-3: Another smash from Satwik but Sikki's misjudgement the cause of the point.

4-2: Never feed Satwik for a smash. I repeat, never feed him. He will make you pay.

3-2: Too long from Sikki.

1-2: Smash from Rankireddy is too powerful for Attri. Hunters opens its account.

0-1: Error from Bernadet opens the scoring for Blasters.

Game 2

15-6: Smashing smash from Rankireddy down the middle. Hunters wrap up the first game in quick time.

14-4: Too long from Sikki again.

13-4: Error from Bernadet. She hits the net

12-3: Long and wide from Sikki. Hunters coasting to game.

9-2: Bernadet angled backhand freezes the Blasters duo to it feet.

8-2: Bernadet's backhand too much for Attri to handle. Hunters lead at the mid-game break.

7-2: Error prone Blasters gifting away points. Attri the culprit this time.

6-2: Another error from Sikki. Too wide from her.

5-2: Too long from Sikki Reddy this time. Point to Hunters.

4-2: Too long from Rankireddy!

3-1: Nice smash from Bernadet. Attri's return finds the net.

1-0: Sikki Reddy's bad serve gifts the Hunters the opening point.

The score will read Hunters-Blasters

Game 1

Match 1: Mixed doubles: Bernadet/Satwiksairaj Rankireddy vs Sikki Reddy/Manu Attri