Bengaluru edges Ahmedabad to book place in final

Follow the live updates and commentary of the semifinal of the Premier Badminton League match between Bengaluru Blasters and Ahmedabad Smash Masters.

Viktor Axelsen will take on Ahmedabad Smash Masters' H.S. Prannoy in the semifinal.   -  TEAM SPORTSTAR

Hello and welcome to Sportstar's live commentary of the Premier Badminton League match between Bengaluru Blasters and Ahmedabad Smash Masters. We will be covering the second semifinals of the third season which will be taking place from Hyderabad.

Last night, we saw the home side book its place in the final with a 3-0 victory over Delhi Dashers. Sai Praneeth and Carolina Marin were in imperious form to see Hyderabad Hunters through to the summit clash. Here's Anjana Senthil's match report from the Gachibowli Indoor Stadium in Hyderabad.

FORM GUIDE:

Bengaluru Blasters is coming off a 6-(-1) thrashing against tournament favourite Hyderabad Hunters in the last league match. Here's the match report.

Ahmedabad Smash Masters booked its place in the last four with a 5-0 win over Mumbai Rockets in Chennai. Here's the match report.

This will be the first time these two sides will meet in the third season of the Premier Badminton League.

Those who would like to take a sneak-peek at how India is faring at the start of the second Test at Centurion, here's the scorecard.

Here are the matches lined up for tonight's semifinal:

Match 1: Men's singles: Chong Wei Feng vs Sourabh Verma

Match 2: Men's doubles: Kim Sa Rang/Mathias Boe vs K. Nandagopal/Lee Reginald (Trump match for Bengaluru)

Match 3: Women's singles: Kirsty Gilmour vs Tai Tzu Ying (Trump match for Ahmedabad)

Match 4:Men's Singles: Viktor Axelsen vs H.S. Prannoy

Match 5: Mixed doubles: Kim Sa Rang/Sikki Reddy vs Law Cheuk Him/Kamilla Rytter Juhl

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Kim Sa Rang/Sikki Reddy bt Law Cheuk Him/Kamilla Rytter Juhl 15-12, 13-15, 15-9

Bengaluru Blasters 4 Ahmedabad Smash Masters 3

 

15-9 Sikki with a smash and Law can only push it wide. Jubilation for Bengaluru Blasters and tough luck for Ahmedabad Smash Masters. What a tie for a semifinal and its Bengaluru which will go onto face Carolina Marn's Hyderabad Hunters on Sunday.

14-9 Law's shot is into the net and its match point.

13-9 Kim lets it go at the last moment.

12-8 Kim's backhand falls inside the back court. Miscommunication from Juhl/Law.

11-7 Juhl with an unforced error from the service, hits it into the net.

10-7 Kim pushes his shot wide now.

9-6 Kim with a smash down the line.

8-6 Kim/Sikki take the lead into the break.

7-5 Service error from Sikki.

7-4 Kim's smash has too much pace and Law can't get it over the net.

5-4 Kim's shot is into the net.

4-3 Law does well to keep that point in play but Sikki affords no let off for Ahmedabad in that 21 shot rally.

3-3 Kim returns the favour to Law.

2-3 Law's smash is low and into the feet of Kim to get a return from it.

1-2 Sikki hits it into the net.

0-1 Good defence from Juhl before Sikki pushes her return wide.

Third game

13-15 Sikki's shot goes wide and its all square. This is going right down to the wire.

13-14 Law's return falls inside, misjudgement from Kim.

13-13 Good return from Kim after a poor service from Juhl.

12-13 Juhl finds an open space and makes a drop.

12-12 Sikki hits it wide.

12-11 Sikki pushes it into the net.

11-10 Law's smash gets Kim's racquet.

11-9 Kim's shot is called long but he challenges it. Its on the line and its a big point for Bengaluru.

10-9 Law hits his shot into the net. Kim is hopping around after that point.

8-9 Juhl hits her return wide after a 34 shot rally after a series of smashes from Kim.

7-9 Law's defensive push goes long.

6-9 Service is long from Juhl.

5-8 Great cross court return from Law and its the mid game interval.

5-7 Kim misses his smash as it hits the net.

5-5 Service error from Sikki.

4-4 Sikki's backhand push goes wide.

4-2 Kim with an unforced error, hit it into the net.

4-1 Law sends his push wide.

2-1 Stunning return from Kim and Law can only push it into the net with that pace.

1-1 Miscommunication and Sikki sends her shot wide.

Second game

15-12 Juhl hits it into the net and that's the opening game. Bengaluru has one foot into the final.

14-12 Law pushes it wide from the serve. GAME POINT.

13-12 Kim with a superb return off a loose serve.

12-12 Kim's return is into the net.

11-11 Sikki sends it wide.

11-10 Kim with a push into Law's chest.

10-10 Sikki pushes it into the net.

10-9 Law hits it wide.

9-8 Good serve from Sikki. Misjudgement from Juhl.

8-8 Law hits it into the net.

7-8 Juhl serves it into the net.

6-8 Kim again hits it into the net and that's the interval.

5-6 Good rally filled with attack and defence before a good leave by Kim to let Law's shot go long. 33 shot rally.

4-5 Kim with another mistake by hitting it into the net.

3-5 Law sets it up with a couple of smashes before Juhl puts it away with a smash of her own.

3-3 Kim again into the net.

3-2 Sikki waits at the net and puts it away well.

2-2 Kim into the net with his shot.

2-1 Sikki with a drop shot.

1-1 Juhl's return goes wide.

First game

Mixed doubles action. Kim Sa Rang has already tasted victory today. Can he do it again for Bengaluru or will Law/Juhl clinch it for Ahmedabad.

We are getting a fifth rubber to decide which team will head to the final to face Hyderabad Hunters.

Match 5: Mixed doubles: Kim Sa Rang/Sikki Reddy vs Law Cheuk Him/Kamilla Rytter Juhl

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Viktor Axelsen bt H.S. Prannoy 15-11, 15-14

Bengaluru Blasters 3 Ahmedabad Smash Masters 3

 

15-14 Axelsen pushes with pace and Prannoy's return goes wide. That's the match for Axelsen and its 3-3 on the night!

14-14 Axelsen with a cross court smash!

13-14 Prannoy pounces at the net to push a winner to the back court. GAME POINT!

13-13 What a rally! Everyone is pumped up! 31 shot rally ends with Axelsen's pick up going wide.

13-12 Axelsen with a smash down the line. 380 kmph smash.

12-12 Axelsen's  lob is long again.

12-11 Prannoy's backhand cros court flick is called out and he challenges it and the call will remain.

11-11 Axelsen's lob goes long.

11-10 Prannoy with a smah after a loose return from Axelsen.

11-9 Axelsen takes swipe at a shot which was going wide and he ends up pushing it wide.

11-8 Prannoy misses his angle for the cross court drop.

10-8 Good pick up from Axelsen before a pick up cross court smash from the big man. 21 shot rally.

9-8 Axelsen lets Prannoy's shot o long, looked close though.

8-8 Prannoy levels it with a cross court smash. 358 kmph.

8-4 Prannoy, in trying to be aggressive, is reckless, smashes the net again with a forehand.

7-4Another unforced error from Prannoy, catches the net with a backhand pickup

5-3 Ditto. Prannoy looks to impart more power to his backhand and smashes it into the net.

4-3 Prannoy makes a backhand unforced error, catches the net.

3-3 Axelsen's pickup shot is long, Prannoy watches it drop over the baseline.

3-2 A fierce smash from Axelsen to the left of Prannoy.

2-2 An unforced error from Prannoy.

2-1 Axelsen shot this time is wide.

1-1 Axelsen comes up with a winner.

Second game

15-11 Axelsen wins the first game, after weathering a storm.

14-11 Axelsen's shot is long, drops over the baseline.

14-10 Axelsen mixes up his shots cleverly and ends up winning the point after Prannoy was scrambling from one end of the court to the other.

13-10 Another fierce hit from Axelsen, Prannoy can only get his racquet to it but doesn't get enough power into his shot to return.

11-10 A winner from Axelsen, to the extreme left of Prannoy, who can't get his racquet to it.

10-10 A carbon copy of the previous point, this time Axelsen drags his shot wide.

10-9 Prannoy's shot is wide, to the right of Axelsen.

9-9 Both players are giving it as good as they get it and this time Axelsen comes up with a winner.

8-8 A ruthless smash from Axelsen from Prannoy's gentle shot at the net.

7-8 Prannoy with a cross court drop that Axelsen expects to drop wide. He challenges the referee's call and doesn't get it right. The shuttle had dropped on the line.

7-6 Axelsen with a powerful smash that dipped on Prannoy, who cannot return.

6-5 Prannoy's jump smash is marginally wide, to the right of Axelsen.

5-5 Prannoy cramps Axelsen for room on his forehand side and Axelsen cannot return.

5-4 A mistake at the net from Prannoy.

4-4 Prannoy's forehand shot is long and Axelsen watches it drop over the baseline.

3-4 Prannoy, this time, comes up with a backhand winner.

3-3 Prannoy with a backhand unforced error this time.

2-3 Axelsen's cross court smash goes wide, to the right of Prannoy.

2-2 Axelsen with a winner, to the left of Prannoy.

1-2 A couple of unforced errors from Axelsen.

1-0 A serene start from Axelsen, who hits a backhanded winner.

First game

Bengaluru's Axelsen to serve.

Next is the Super Match between Viktor Axelsen and H. S. Prannoy.

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Tai Tzu Ying bt Kirsty Gilmour 8-15, 15-13, 15-8

Bengaluru Blasters 2 Ahmedabad Smash Masters 3

 

15-8 Tai Tzu with a winner to win the tie and give Ahmedabad a 3-2 lead.

14-8 A service error from Gilmour.

13-8 Gilmour earns a point, courtesy unforced error from Tai Tzu.

13-7 Gilmour is quickly losing her way with a series of unforced errors.

11-7 Tai Tzu with a winner.

10-7 Wow! Another delicately placed overhead shot from Tai Tzu, Gilmour cannot get enough power onto it to get it past the net.

9-7 Back to back points for Gilmour, the latest with a series of smashes at the body of Tai Tzu.

9-5 A well-placed overhead shot from Tai Tzu, to the left of Gilmour.

8-5 Tai Tzu takes a three-point lead into the break, Gilmour's shot catches the net.

7-5 Gilmour drags her overhead backhand wide.

6-5 Now Gilmour wins two points back to back, one from an unforced error and another with a powerful overhead smash.

6-3 Tai Tzu's smash is long.

6-2 Back to back points for Tai Tzu, the latest with a series of shots directed at the body of Gilmour.

4-2 Gilmour watches the shuttle drop wide and breaks Tai Tzu's serve.

4-1 Another brilliantly placed shot from Tai Tzu, Gilmour has no answer.

2-1 Tai Tzu with a winner, Gilmour cannot get her racquet to it.

Third game

Tai Tzu made a strong comeback to win the second game 15-13.

12-11 Tai hits a winner to the back court.

12-8 Gilmour anticipates well to get to the net early to push that winner.

11-8 Gilmour going for the kill, hits a 309 kmph smash!

10-8 But she follows that with another unforced error. Her 13th forehand unforced error.

9-8 Tai finding her range now with a loping drop shot.

9-7 Gilmour with the unforced error this time.

9-6 Tai with another unforced error, shot goes out.

8-6 Tai comes back fighting, gets her smash right on the cross court.

8-5 Gilmour has answers to every shot from Tai but the Taiwanese losing patience here as she makes another unforced error.

7-5 Tai's shot goes wide on the cross court.

6-5 Simply stunning from Gilmour! Follows up two powerful smashes with a deceptive drop. What a point from the Scot.

5-4 Good response from Gilmour as she hits a smash from the line and Tai can only hit it into the net.

4-4 What a rally! 30 hots at both the back court and the net before Tai stings a shot into the side of Gilmour's face.

4-3 Gilmour with a stunning cross court smash. 328 kmph smash.

3-3 Gilmour hits it into the net from Tai's smash.

3-2 Tai goes for the around the head hit and she hits it into the net.

1-0 A long rally ends with Tai's shot hitting into the net.

Second game

15-8 Gilmour brings a surprise here in the first game.  The world no. 1 will be feeling the heat here.

12-8 Tai's lob over the net goes wide.

11-8 Gilmour pushes her cross court drop wide.

10-8 Gilmour misses her shot as she hits it wide.

10-7 Gilmour with a cros court smash.

9-7 Poor judgement from Tai as Gilmour's shot creeps in.

8-7 Tai hits it wide and that's the break.

7-7 Tai with a god cross court drop and Gilmour can't lift it over the net.

7-6 Tai with an unforced error, hits it against the net.

5-6 Gilmour with a backhand cross court push which falls inside the line.

3-6 Tai with a delicious cross court drop at the net. 21 shot rally.

3-5 Gilmour pushes it wide.

3-4 Good point for Gilmour as she makes ground at the net to flick it over Tai's head.

2-4 Gimlour's leaping smash is against the net.

1-2 Tai with a forehand winner down the line.

1-1 Tai misses her shot from the net.

0-1 Gilmour hits it against the net.

First game

Next up is the trump match for Ahmedabad. Ahmedabad will feel its trump points are in safe hands in the form of World no. 1 Tai Tzu Ying. Can Kirsty Gilmour pull off an upset to take Bengaluru into the final?

Match 3: Women's singles: Kirsty Gilmour vs Tai Tzu Ying (Trump match for Ahmedabad)

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Kim Sa Rang/Mathias Boe bt K. Nandagopal/Lee Reginald 15-13, 15-12

Bengaluru Blasters 2 Ahmedabad Smash Masters 1

 

15-12 Lee affords room for Kim to smash home the match point!  Crucial win for Bengaluru as it clinches two crucial trump points.

14-12 Lee lands a winner to the back court.

14-11 Kidambi with a leaping smash.

14-10 Good spot from Kidambi at the net to drop a winner.

14-8 Boe with an angled smash and its match point for Bengaluru.

12-8 Good serve and push from Boe and he is delighted.

11-8 Lee hits it into the net from the back court.

10-8 Kidambi tries it pick it up low from the net but can't force it over.

9-8 A cross court smash from Kim.

8-8 Lee with a smash at Boe, 351 kmph.

8-7 Kim with a smash to edge the lead at the break.

7-7 Kidambi makes unforced error, hits it into the net.

6-6 Boe levels the score with a smash down the middle. 25 shot rally.

3-6 Boe hits it against the net.

3-4 Boe with misjudgement to let that shot go and it falls inside the line.

3-3 Lee can only push it against the net.

1-3 Kidambi with a fierce forehand at the net, pouncing at the loose return.

1-2 Kim pushes it wide.

Second game

15-13 Kim with the smash and Lee can only force it into the net and that's the opening game for Bengaluru Blasters.

14-13 Boe again makes an unforced error, hits it into the net.

14-12 Good exchange before Boe hits it into the net.

14-11 Lee makes a crucial unforced error at the net and it game point.

13-11 Good reflex from Lee at the net but Kim's shot its into the net.

13-10 Boe lets Lee's service go and its good.

13-9 Lee with a deceptive drop before a booming smash!

13-8 This time he hits it right into the chest of Boe.

13-7 Kidambi over hits it and it goes wide.

12-7 Lee's shot at the net trickles over .

11-6 Boe unsure as he let that shot go, its called out. Ahmedabad makes a challenge and is unsuccessful.

10-6 Lee's backhand flick hits the net.

8-6 Kidambi with a drop shot at the net. Takes it well rushing into the net.

8-5 Good finish with a smash from Lee.

8-4 Kidambi makes unforced error at the net to give a healthy lead in this trump match for Bengaluru.

7-4 Unforced error from Kim.

7-3 Boe with a smash and Kidambi pushes it out.

6-3 Boe puts his shot wide this time.

5-2 Kim pushes his shot wide.

5-1 Boe makes a challenge as the shot was called in. Hawkeye says it was well out and call is reversed.

Chennai Smashers' and Hyderabad's own P.V. Sindhu is in the house.

4-0 Superb defence by both teams before Kim hits a deceptive drop shot.

2-0 Lee with an unforced error at the net.

First game

We move onto the first Trump match of the evening and its a Men's doubles affair. The trump is for Bengaluru which is already trailing here after the opening match loss.

Match 2: Men's doubles: Kim Sa Rang/Mathias Boe vs K. Nandagopal/Lee Reginald (Trump match for Bengaluru)

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Sourabh Verma bt Chong Wei Feng 15-2, 14-15, 15-10

Bengaluru Blasters 0 Ahmedabad Smash Masters 1

 

10-15 Sourabh does it with a forehand winner and throws his arms up in the air. His teammates are on their feet and congratulate him on the effort.

10-14 Feng hands match point to Verma with another forehand unforced error.

10-13 No mistake this time as he hits a cross court smash with precisison. 330 kmph.

9-13 ANother forehand unforced error from Feng.

9-12 Feng hits it long, his 16th forehand unforced error in the match.

9-11 Feng makes an unforced error, hits it into the net.

9-10 Sourabh surprises Feng with a body smash.

9-9 Feng with a superb pass close to the net to find open court.

7-9 Sourabh with a cross court smash to start things off after the break, 331 kmph smash.

7-8 Feng goes for the smash and again it takes the net but this time it goes wide. That's the interval.

7-7 Feng hits a cross court smash and is called out. Feng asks for the challenge. Hawkeye says its well out.

7-6 Feng finally gets the rub off the net as his shot trickles over the net.

6-6 Easy pickings for Sourabh, pounces at the net to put that forehand away.

5-5 Sourabh with quick reflexes to get his racquet around his head to hit that winner.

4-4 Sourabh makes the same error this time, Feng leaves it at the last moment.

3-4 Feng's flicked defensive push goes wide.

3-3 Feng pulls his smash down the line wide.

2-2 Fantastic rally there, both players displaying quick reflexes before Sourabh shitting it long. 24 shot rally.

1-2 Good aggression from Sourabh, hitting three smashes.

0-2 Feng's lob doesn't get over the net.

The players switch ends again. Will that be an advantage for Sourabh?

Third game

15-14 What a point for Feng!  Hits a cross court smash before pouncing at the net for a forehand winner. We move to the decider.

14-14 Loose shot from Feng and Sourabh is all over it with a smash. 28 shot rally. Golden point.

14-13 Feng with a backhand winner at the net and its game point.

13-13 Feng goes for the big smash but he misses his range and hits the net.

13-12 Sourbah is not out of this game yet, he makes a stunning smash of his own and Feng can only hit the net.

13-11 Feng with a 326 kmph cross court smash to Sourabh's backhand side.

12-11 Sourbah gets his decision making right with his judgement.

12-10 Feng looked over his shoulder to leave that shot but it creeps in.

12-9 Sourabh with an unforced error at the net.

11-7 Sourabh with a good cross court smash but Feng picked it up well, before Sourabh's cross court drop trickled over the net. The Indian apologises, breaks serve.

10-6 Feng has found his range here. Feng intercepts Sourabh's lob at the net to put it into open court.

9-6 Sourabh puts it wide.

8-6 Feng fights back to take the lead at the break. Not been a stroll in the second game for Sourabh.

7-6 A superb cross court drop from Feng with a backhand flick. Stunning actually.

6-6 Good defence from Feng but his shot ultimately ends up going wide as his struggling with his range.

6-5 Good work by Feng at the net as his quick exchange forced Sourabh to put it wide.

5-4 Feng with a cross court smash but good pick up by Sourabh but the court opened up for Feng to make the drop.

4-4 Good rally there as Sourabh's quick smash forced Feng to hit it wide.

4-3 Good smash from Feng and Sourabh struggles with hi defence.

2-3 Feng makes another unforced error, carrying on from the first game.

2-2 Poor call from Sourabh to let Feng's shot fall inside.

1-2 A 358 kmph smash from Sourabh.

Second game

2-15 Feng swats it wide knowing there is no hope of a comeback in this game. This could be the quickest game in the history of PBL. Or maybe this season? Nonetheless, what a start for Sourabh and Ahmedabad.  The first game took only seven and a half minutes plus the interval.

2-14 And another unforced error against the net and its game point for Sourabh.

2-13 Feng with another forhand unforced error, hits it against the net.

2-12 Sourbah with another smash.

2-11 Feng hits it against the net.

2-10 Sourabh gracious enough with an unforced error of his own here putting it wide.

1-10 Feng hits his forehand wide again.

1-9 Feng can't seem to get it right yet as his cross court smash goes wide.

1-8 Sourabh with another smash to the opposite side of Feng and that's a commanding lead at the break.  A 408 kmph smash. Wow.

1-7 Sourabh with a low lift smash down the line.

1-6 Feng's lob hits against his own side of the net and falls inside.

1-5 Sourabh's smash is low to Feng's left and his return goes wide.

1-3 Sourabh hits his cross court smash down the line a tad wide.

0-3 Sourabh hitting the right notes here. Lands a cross court drop shot at the net.

0-2 Sourabh returned with some serious pace there ad Feng can't get his return right.

0-1 Sourabh with his trademark smash to start off things here.

First game

 

Match 1: Men's singles: Chong Wei Feng vs Sourabh Verma