Hello and welcome to Sportstar's LIVE coverage of Satuday's Premier Badminton League (PBL) match at G. M. C. Balayogi SATS Indoor Stadium. This is V.S. Aravind and I will take you through the first match's proceedings.
First up is Tie No. 14 between Pune 7 Aces and North Eastern Warriors followed by the second match of the day between Awadhe Warriors and Chennai Superstarz .
Well, what a evening Warriors had and they showed Pune they can be tough on a given day. Plenty of action coming up next as it's time for Chennai Superstarz vs Awadhe Warriors. That's all for me but our coverage continues. Thanks for joining.
- 15-8 That's it. Chirag and Seiawan continue to remain unbeaten and they hand Pune a consolation win. 15-12 15-8 as Pune triumphs in the men's double. North Eastern Warriors 5 Pune 0
- 14-8 Match point for the Pune Aces.
- 11-6 Chirag and Seiawan have extended their lead and this pair is continuing to grow in strength. Simply the best in the tournament.
- 8-6 Net fault gives Chirag and Seiawan a two-point lead as both teams enter the break.
- 7-6 Warriors have closed in the gap and are just trailing by just one point.
- 4-1 Pune takes a three-point lead, courtesy two errors from Isara and they are on a move.
- Back from the 20 seconds break and it will be Seiawan to restart with the serve. And Pune takes the first point in the second game.
- 14-12 Game point for Chirag and Seiawan and they wrap up the game 15-12. Their formidable partnership continues to impress in this PBL.
- 12-10 Chirag helps Pune take a two-point lead and this is quality stuff from the Indian.
- 9-9 Excellent fightback from Isara and Garaga and the duo isn't actually pushing full throttle but are playing the deft shots to close in the deficit.
- 8-5 Finally Pune has something to cheer as the pair of Chirag and Seiawan take the lead against Isara and Garaga.
- 4-3 Excellent rally with Chirag and Seiawan taking the lead. Great defence against the smashes of Garaga and Isara and then Chirag takes off the power and a diving Bodin fails to lift.
- 1-0 Bodin challenges right after service and it's in.
- The mixed doubles team will look to give Pune a consolation point but what an evening this has been for the Warriors.
- Next up is the men's doubles match between Hendra Setiawan partnering Chirag Shetty against Bodin Isara and Krishna Prasad Garaga.
- 15-13 Michelle wins the Trump match as he beats Rituparna Das 158 15-13 15-13 to extend Warriors' winning run. Warriors 5 Pune -1
- 14-13 Rituparna still in this as Michelle pushes it wide!
- 14-12 Game point for Michelle and that's experience coming into play.
- 12-11 Huge error of judgement from Rituparna as she was unsure whether to play or leave and that was well in.
- 11-10 Rituparna Das takes the lead and this is sensational as the Indian is forcing Michelle to commit errors. Pressure on the Canadian.
- 9-9 Rituparna Das pulls it back at level terms and what a terrific comeback from the 23-year old. Excellent play.
- 9-5 Back from the break with Michelle serving in the decider and the Canadian extends her lead.
- 8-4 Michelle enters the break in the Trump match by pushing it wide and Rituparna fails to lift.
- 7-4 Michelle taking a three-point cushion and she is making Rituparna play all over the court.
- 4-4 Lovely smashes and Rituparna isn't allowing Michelle to run away with the game.
- Here's the decider with Rituparna on service and Michelle picks the first point.
- 15-13 Finally Rituparna gets the game, forces the decider and this time Michelle hits long and the Canadian can't believe it. However, nothing to take away from Rituparna as she has shown that she can test the best. The decider in 20 seconds.
- 14-13 Rituparna had four game points and ends up giving away three!
- 14-12 Two long shots and the pressure of closing out the game is getting on Rituparna. She is allowing Michelle to crawl back.
- 14-10 What a turnaround from the World No. 100 against the World No.10. Excellent fightback and she has got the game point.
- 12-10 Rituparna has got the spunk back and she seems to be winning the second game.
- 9-9 Rituparna again makes an unforced error, this time a flat shot hitting the net and that allows Michelle to draw level.
- Rituparna starts with the lead but an excellent shot to the right of the Indian sees Michelle close-in the gap.
- 8-5 Rituparna takes a three-point lead, entering the break and this has been an excellent comeback. Can she force the decider is what remains to be seen. The coach is all in her ears while the Indian sips water.
- 5-1 Excellent reflexes, fast hands, deep into the baseline and Rituparna is pumped up! The intensity was missing in the first game and Rituparna seems to get her mojo back.
- 3-1 Positive start from Rituparna and she needs to make Michelle play more rallies and use the court to her advantage. Excellent forehand play.
- 15-8 Too long from Rituparna and Michelle pockets the first game without breaking any sweat. Too many unforced errors and Rituparna needs to lift her net game and add more power to her smashes to tame the Canadian.
- 14-8 Game point for Michelle.
- 12-6 Michelle now has a sive-point advantage over Rituparna and she is just toying with the youngster.
- 9-5 Michelle starts from where she left and after making Rituparna engage in a long rally, she drops a shot and Rituparna plays it wide to hand Warriors another point.
- 8-5 Michelle enters the break with the lead after trailing initially. Looks calm and composed and having jurdged Rituparna the Canadian displays some wonderful game to put Warriors ahead.
- 6-5 Michelle is back with the lead with beautiful cross-court smashes and Rituparna has no reply.
- 5-2 Excellent start from Rituparna as she has managed to pocket points with her brilliant drop shots. Creating that little angle by her shoulder and dropping it to the right hand court of Michelle.
- Rituparna to serve and a long return sees the Canadian pick first points.
- Rituparna has to up her game against Michelle, who beat P.V. Sindhu recently.
- Up next is the women's singles match between Rituparna Das and Michelle Li. Remember it's a Trump match for the Warriors and a win could close doors on Pune.
- 15-8 - There is the win and Pune are in all sorts of trouble. Lee Yiu beats Loh Kean Yew 15-12 15-8 as Warriors win their second men's singles match. North East 3 Pune -1
- 14-5 Lee Yiu serving for match
- 11-4 Fantastic smash and Lee Yiu is mauling Loh Kean Yew and the latter has no answers. Attacking badminton and he is just smashing his way to a massive win.
- Done and dusted with the 20 seconds break and Lee Yiu is in complete control.
- 8-3 Lee Yiu takes a five-point advantage at the break and the Warriors are having a super Saturday.
- 3-3 Lee Yiu plays it straight into the net to allow Loh to level the game.
- 15-11 Warriors have the lead and Lee Yiu pockets the first game and Pune is under the pump.
- A tense rally again and this time Yiu blinks first to surrender a point.
- 14-11 Lee Yiu with the game point.
- 12-11 Yew is forcing his way back into the game and he is keeping his opponent on the feet with some brilliant play near the net.
- 9-9 Yew breaks the momentum with good deception and makes it level.
- 7-7 A 19 shots long rally comes to an end as Yiu fails to clear the net.
- 5-3 Yew makes a move on and pockets a two-point advantage. The drift is carrying the shuttles a litter wider than expected and Yiu would be mindful of that.
- Next up is the men's singles between Loh Kean Yew and Lee Yiu
- Lee Yong Dae and Kim Ha Na win the mixed doubles Trump match as Pune loses a point for the first time this season. Warriors truly playing like champions.
- 15-8 That's it! There the match and the game. Warriors have inflicted the first Trump match loss on Pune Aces in what a one-sided affair.
- Just wide but Kim has the licence to go for the long smashes.
- 14-7 Warriors Serving for match.
- 12-5 Sloppy from Chris and Gabby and Lee and Kim are racing away towards a huge win. Remember, it's a Trump match! Two points for a win and -1 for a loss.
- 8-5 Pune has been left with a lot of work to do as the Warriors pair enter the break with a three-point lead and they will be eager to close it out soon.
Meanwhile, Sofia Kenin stunned two-time Grand Slam champion Garbine Muguruza 4-6, 6-2, 6-2 to win a maiden major tournament at the Australian Open.
5-3 Lee and Kim have maintained their lead and a slight change in their tactics. They went defensive and then applied the drop shots to maximum effect. Controlled smashes that dart directly into the body, the Warriors are on a roll.
- Against a team that is yet to taste defeat, North Eastern Warriors are certainly punching above their weight and Pune is reeling under serious pressure.
- Chris and Gabby have a job in their hands as the second game gets underway.
- 15-6 This is huge from Warriors perspective and they pocket the first game in the mixed doubles. Pune started as favourites but Lee and Kim stormed past their opponents with ease and the Pune duo had no answer. They were simply blown away. Absolute decimation!
- 11-6 The pair of Lee Yong Dae and Kim Ha Na is running away with the game as they have now have a massive five-point lead. No rustiness at all and the Warriors is in a great position.
- 8-4 North Eastern Warriors with a four point lead enter the break in the first game and the pair of Dae and Kim is looking nice and positive. Cross court smashes were on display and it's the pace that has given the Warriors the advantage.
- 6-4 Pune has managed to bridge in the gap and the duo has upped the intensity after letting loose at the start.
- 5-0 Hold on! What a lead the Warriors have taken and Pune has been pushed on the backfoot.
- Pune to serve and Pune undoubtedly start as favourites.
- We are back for the mixed doubles match between Chris Adcock and Gabrielle Adcock (Pune) vs vs Lee Yong Dae and Kim Ha Na (Warriors).
- Up next is the mixed doubles Trump match.
- North Eastern Warriors are up and running as they win the first match 15-13, 15-14.
- 15-14 - It's long and wide and Saensomboonsuk wins the match as the men's singles match goes to North Eastern Warriors. What a game.
- 14-14 - Decider point - Wonderful from Sakai and can he force the decider?
- 14-13 Game point and match point for Saensomboonsuk. Excellent net play and after a long rally, Sakai commits an error to hand Saensomboonsuk advantage.
- 13-13 It happened in the first game also and Saensomboonsuk was quick to pull the return and level the game.
- 12-11 Saensomboonsuk back with the lead and this men's singles match is turning out to be a cracker.
- Sakai comes back nicely and closes in the lead and has now drawn on level terms. He is not going to let away easily and he is forcing for the decider.
- 10-8 Saensomboonsuk is not letting Sakai to open up and with smart smashes and accurate returns he is holding on to the lead. Top stuff from the Thai player.
- 9-7 Saensomboonsuk keeps the lead and the level of intensity this game has is exceptional. Nimble feet movement, and he is using the depth of the court to the maximum. Excellent style of play.
- 20 seconds of break is over and the players are back.
- 8-6 Saensomboonsuk maintains his lead of two points at the break of the second game and this promises to go to the decider. In fact, it should given the way both players have played so far. Excellent net play, deep smashes and the deft drop shots. The game has it all.
- 4-3 Saensomboonsuk gets the lead for the first time in the game, courtesy a lovely drop shot.
- After a long, nice rally Saensomboonsuk misses as he smashes far wide of Sakai and another unforced error makes it 3-3.
- Second Game: 2-0 Sakai begins aggressively and has pushed Saensomboonsuk to the brink and picks two quick points to take the lead.
- 15-13 First game won by Saensomboonsuk of North Eastern Warriors.
- 14-13 Game point for Saensomboonsuk and North Eastern Warriors have the first game. Close game and Saensomboonsuk prevails to edge past Sakai and pocket the first game. Unforced errors and some brilliant smashes by Saensomboonsuk saw Sakai lose out on a narrow margin.
- Saensomboonsuk has made four unforced backhand errors as compared to Sakai's three.
- Lose shot from Saensomboonsuk as he fails to clear the net and Sakai with the lead again.
- Sakai with a smash takes the lead but Saensomboonsuk is quick to level scores again. The support for both the teams is tremendous.
- It's 9-9 wonderful play by Saensomboonsuk to draw the scores level and this first game is getting very very close.
- Excellent rally and Saensomboonsuk with a lovely smash to the left of Sakai pockets another point and North East trails by just one point.
- North Eastern Warriors make a successful review and they reduce the deficit and keep the review. Excellent!
- Sakai serving at 7-5 and he maintains the lead at first break to make it 8-5.
- Saensomboonsuk comes back to close in the gap with a perfect body smash and he is slowly gaining momentum. Two good smashes on the body of Sakai and he is keeping them right in the centre of the court. 6-5
- Both players are up to the task but it's Sakai who has taken a two-point lead and has managed to keep Saensomboonsuk busy with some net play.
- Sakai takes the opening point for Pune with a lovely smash to the right of Saensomboonsuk but immediately commits an unforced error to make it 1-1.
- Coming up, the first match of the day and it will be between K. Sakai vs T. Saensomboonsuk.
- Sitting third on the points table, Northeast Warriors have a job in their hands and they will look to boost their campaign.
- The two sides are in race for booking a spot in the semifinals and the Pune 7 Aces will look to continue its winning momentum.
- Alright we are all set for the tie to begin. The draw is out and the on-court action to kick-off in 10 minutes from now.
Pune 7 Aces will aim to notch up its fourth win on the trot when it takes on North Eastern Warriors in its Premier Badminton League match on Saturday.
In the second tie of the day, Chennai Superstarz will hope to bounce back against the Awadhe Warriors who will open their final leg.
Pune's strength lies in a well-knit squad who has shown remarkable fighting spirit under pressure. The men's doubles pair of Chirag Shetty and Hendra Setiawan has remained unbeaten so far in three outings.
Shetty's smooth chemistry with the world champion doubles player was evident, especially in their most recent win over the Chennai team's Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Sumeeth Reddy.
"I am thoroughly enjoying my time at Pune 7 Aces where all players share a healthy camaraderie. The team is in a really good place right now and we are confident of getting a win," said Setiawan.
Thailand Masters champion Loh Kean Yew has also been a valuable asset for the team. Commonwealth Games gold medallists Chris and Gabrielle Adcock have delivered each time they have appeared for Pune and would be the key as they aim to displace the Superstarz from the top position in the league standings.