PBL Season 5, highlights: Chennai Superstarz 5-3 Mumbai Rockets

Chennai Superstarz will be back on court again tonight after the team's emphatic 5-2 on the opening day. It will face two-time finalist Mumbai Rockets today.

Lakshya Sen in action during the opening tie of the Premier Badminton League on Monday.   -  Special Arrangement

Welcome to Sportstar's coverage of the fifth season of Premier Badminton League!

Chennai Superstarz managed a thrilling 4-3 win over Mumbai Rockets to make it two-in-two in PBL Season 5. Scroll down for the coverage of Wednesday's games as they happened.

If you prefer the long story cut short, here is the tie report.

It's Day 3 of the first leg of PBL. The rechristened Chennai Superstarz began its campaign with a 5-2 victory over P.V. Sindhu-led Hyderabad Hunters. Mumbai Rockets, a two-time finalist, will play its first match against the host at the Jawaharlal Nehru Indoor Stadium in Chennai on Wednesday.

On Tuesday, defending champion Bengaluru Raptors suffered a narrow loss to North Eastern Warriors. Match Highlights

Chennai Superstarz vs Mumbai Rockets

Order of Play:

Mixed doubles: Dhruv Kapila/Jessica Pugh vs Kim Gi Jung / Pia Bernadeth

Men's singles: Lakshya  Sen vs Lee Dong Keun

Men's singles: Tommy Sugiarto (Trump) vs Parupalli Kashyap

Men's doubles: Sumeeth Reddy/Dhruv Kapila vs Kim Gi Jung/ Kim Sa Rang (Trump)

Women's singles: Gayatri Gopichand vs Shreyanshi Pardeshi



 

Chennai Superstarz 4 - 3 Mumbai Rockets

After a brilliant start to its campaign with  5-2 win over P.V.Sindhu led-Hyderabad Hunters, Chennai Superstarz manage an encore, beating Mumbai rockets 4-3. Lakshya Sen was a delight to watch, with those powerful smashes making that game one we will not forget for a while to come. Tommy Sugiarto also managed to subdue Parupalli Kashyap to tuck away crucial points for his side.  A late resurgence from the Rockets has to be commended though with the Kim Gi Jung-Kim Sa Rang duo and Shreyanshi Pardeshi giving the side plenty to be pleased about.



Match 5: Women's singles- Shreyanshi Pardeshi beats Gayatri Gopichand 14-15, 15-5, 15-13

15-13
Shreyanshi takes the game and hands the Mumbai Rockets a few points. Makes no difference to Chennai though, considering it has already taken the tie.

Game point and Shreyanshi takes it. Too wide from Gayatri and there's a scream coming from the courtside with the girl in blue. This was not a game of strength, it was one of pace and positions and who would make fewer errors. Shreyanshi came out on top and is thrilled to find herself on the right side of the points card.

13-14
How unfortunate. Lovely rally. Shreyanshi and Gayatri take turns in making the other slave for the return. But an error means her shot finds the net. She groans in frustration.

13-13
Wide from Gayatri on the left. She wants to get done with this but the haste is not helping her cause.

13-12
Gayatri finds the net. Shreyanshi is back in it. One point separates the two in the deciding game.

13-11 W
ide from Shreyanshi. She reviews but its unsuccessful. Two-point cushion for Gayatri Gopichand and the Chennai Superstarz.

12-11
Gayatri is making Shreyanshi run. Shreyanshi picks up and turns the strategy back on Gayatri creating the error. After dominating the rally, Shreyanshi manages to force an error out of Gayatri, who finds the net on return.

12-10
Oh not so soon. Gayatri finds the net in the middle of a fast rally. Unforced error.

12-9
And another one. Something's snapped in Gayatri's mind and she's racing ahead. Another smash, another point.

11-9
Gayatri pegs back, beating Shreyanshi on the counter with a drop shot. The second is a lovely smash from the mid court, Shreyanshi returns but finds the net.

9-9
Shreyanshi manages a lead seeing Gayatri go just a little off the line. She expects the same error, unsettling her with a lovely shot from near the net but Gayatri gets the placement this time and Shreyanshi leaves a shot in bounds, gifting a point to Gayatri now. Lead taken, cancelled.

8-8
Gayatri has covered nearly one whole kilometer but she gets the shot wide again. Point lost. Scores tied.

8-7
Good judgement from Shreyanshi. Makes Gayatri work near the net and a far shot from Gayatri gets the placement all wrong to go wide again, just off the line though, to be fair.

8-6
Another point to Shreyanshi. Gayatri gets a far shot but that one's a little too long. Shreyanshi knows, her fist knows and she silently celebrates.

8-5
Shreyanshi comes in from a position of defense to manage a drop shot to get Gayatri here. Point coming in from the break.

8-4
Gayatri clears, something she has done quite a bit in this match but this time it pays off with Shreyanshi unable to get anywhere near it. Goes into the break with a four-point lead.
 

7-4  Oh, Shreyanshi capitalises and plays one gently close to the net. Gayatri is too far back to do anything.

7-3
Unforced error from Gayatri. Middle that all wrong close to the net to give Shreyanshi a point.

7-2
Beaten and beaten again near the net here, Shreyanshi. Lovely cross court drop shots here from the 16-year-old.

5-2
Drop shot from Gayatri finds Shreyanshi losing her balance. The return flies in from under the net. You have to appreciate the deft play from Gayatri.

4-2
Shreyanshi's shot goes over the line, but its close. Review taken by Mumbai to contest the point lost but the replay shows it all. Point to Chennai

3-2
Good downward shot from Shreyanshi. Gayatri misses. Point taken.

3-1
In decision from Shreyanshi. She keeps doing this by the line, in the far court but still manages to get one back to Gayatri. But, Gayatri's return is too powerful for Shreyanshi to get the timing right.

2-1 Shreyanshi forces out an error from Gayatri there, making her move and get the placement wrong with a cross shot straight into the net.

2-0 Shreyanshi gets it a little too wide on her left. One more point to Gayatri.

1-0 What a drop that is from Gayatri Gopichand. Long long rally that and a drop shot seals it in Gayatri's favour. 38 shots there in this rally. Shreyanshi dominated most of it but a deceptive drop shot gives her the point.


Shreyanshi has stuck to the middle of the court while Gayatri is working around the corners.

Game 2: Shreyanshi Pardeshi takes the second game 15-5.

5-15 Easily done.
It feels more like Gayatri lost this game than Shreyanshi won it. The body language changed, the vigour changed. This wasn't the same Gayatri who clinched the first game. She will need a good pep talk in the break.

5-14
Straight into the net here from Gayatri. Sets up game point here for Shreyanshi.

5-13
No, Shreyanshi. You can't run away with this one as a half smash helps Gayatri get one back in. Is she tired? The body language has completely changed here from Gayatri

4-13
One more to Shreyanshi as Gayatri falls short of collecting a downward one close to the net.

4-12
Cross court forehead hand from Gayatri helps her peg back a point in her favour. The eight point lead remains.

3-12
Excellent drop from Shreyanshi. Gayatri has no control there. So close to the net.

3-11 And Shreyanshi takes another one. It goes a little wide and Gayatri reviews that to stop another point being conceded. Unsuccessful. The next two points also go wide. She is going too wide and its costing her dearly here. The lead now up to eight points.

Let's remember though that this is exactly where things changed in the last game. Can Shreyanshi keep up the momentum?

3-8 Drop shot from Shreyanshi and she leads by 5 points. What a changeover from the last game. We saw Satwik Sairaj dancing a while ago, I wonder if he's still jiving.

3-7 One more close to the net. Four point lead for Shreyanshi now.

3-6 Gayatri is trying to clear the shots too much. Shreyanshi has picked up on it and she is going close to the net. Another cross and Gayatri cannot make it in time to clear it or even try to.

3-5
cross court drop from Gayatri and Shreyanshi is having to do a lot of work to even connect. Her attempt fails to make it past the net.

2-5
Half smash from Gayatri is subdued and a lovely cross shot sees itself making its way across. Gayatri is nowhere near it. 

2-4
One more to Shreyanshi as Gayatri misjudges a shot close to her missing completely.

2-3
Shreyanshi pulls back two quick points plauing it close to the net. She tempts Gayatri to play long making her misjudge the distance. Third point comfortably in the bag as well.

2-0 Gayatri continues what she knows to do best. Takes the first point of the second here. Shreyanshi has misjudged distance in both shots here.

 

Both girls have been playing to the back of the court. Will that continue here? Let's get into game 2 of this tie.

Game 1: Gayatri Gopichand takes the first game 15-14

DECIDER:
It's a hurried rally. Gayatri is all pace and all fury here. A strong smash from Shreyanshi finds the net meaning Gayatri takes the game, her first game here in season five of the Premier Badminton League! Congratulations are in order and P.V.V Lakshmi, who has worn a worried look all through, is beaming.

14-14 Shreyanshi is not letting Gayatri celebrate. A closely fought rally by the net sees a gentle flick from Shreyanshi evading Gayatri.

14-13 OH SHREYANSHI IS DOWN. BALANCE GONE. Lovely cross shot from Gayatri that sees Shreyanshi down on the ground. Very low on the ground and Shreyanshi cannot get it.

13-13
Blows being traded here with a point taken each. Gayatri's pace is ridiculously good here and Shreyanshi finds the shuttle grazing the net again.

11-13
Shreyanshi takes the lead with a shot landing right by the line, but close enough to stay in and keep the lead. Television replays confirm in the first. She manages another point, keeping Gayatri in the back of the court and stealing points from the far line.

11-11
Gayatri is not having it. She's back in it, with Shreyanshi unable to match the pace in the middle. But Shreyanshi is determined to give Gayatri's mother, P.V.V Lakshmi, sitting in the stands a hard time keeping her finger nails intact. 

10-10 OH THAT BACKHAND.
Shreyanshi smashes a controlled wristy shot into Gayatri's territory. What a way to even out. Intense rally as well.

10-9
That was a rushed performance from Gayatri. There's an urgency there to get the point but all's well, because she manages courtesy a nicely timed shot to beat a unsuspecting Shreyanshi

9-9
Oh, don't celebrate so soon Gayatri. Encore of the previous point but its Gayatri grazing the net this time.

9-8
Oh right into the net. Shreyanshi is frustrated. She's wiping her face. The pressure is well and truly on

8-8
Make that three points and the crowd is ecstatic. Scores are tied. Shreyanshi is getting the distance wrong.

7-8
Shreyanshi is back to making a familiar error. Too wide on the corner to give Gayatri crucial back-to-back points here. Deficit down to a point now.

The surface has slowed down considerably from the start of the game. How will this affect the game?

5-8
Shreyanshi's pace has improved. Two quick points for the young girl in blue. Gayatri is going too aerial while Shreyanshi is keeping her shots a little more grounded. That strategy has worked for her with two drop shots and this long shot far back that Gayatri misses. The focal point of control has now moved to the blue part of the court.

5-5
Drop shot from Shreyanshi and we have a tie of the scores now.

Shreyanshi needs to return the favour. She needs to tire Gayatri out too.

5-3
Shreyanshi is pegging it back here. Lovely few drop shots right by the net to manage. But the best one is this last point, lovely quick shot to keep Gayatri guessing, only to find herself short of collecting the shuttle.

5-1
Shreyanshi misjudges the distance and lets another point go right at the far end.

4-1
Lovely drop after an intense rally here. Gayatri prevails to beat Shreyanshi there. She is making Shreyanshi run all along the court while maintaining a centre point.

3-1 Fist bump from Shreyanshi as she manages a point by beating Gayatri right near the net.

3-0 Gayatri takes the first two games, courtesy two errors from Shreyanshi that finds the deliveries going a little too wide. Nerves? Could be, Gayatri's done and dusted with the jitters considering she started against Sindhu.

MATCH 5: Gayatri Gopichand vs Shreyanshi Pardeshi

 

MATCH 4:  Sumeeth Reddy/Dhruv Kapila beat Kim Gi Jung/ Kim Sa Rang (Trump) 15-9, 15-12

Game 2:

12-15 And it's done.
Kim Gi Jung seals it for Mumbai in the trump match and with that, Mumbai earns valuable points. What a league debut from Dhruv Kapila. Many many positives here.

12-14
Smart return of serve there from Dhruv and the Indians are still in the tie, still fighting.

11-14
Gi Jung splits the duo and the shuttle is unplayable.

11-13
Dhruv Kapila sneaks one through Gi Jung

13-10
What a smash from Kim Gi Jung. He has a big smile on his face. Middled into the court there.

9-12
The last few rallies have been all Mumbai. Smart openings and placement here from the Koreans. The deficit is expanding.

9-8
Wristy shot there with a reaction time of 0.29 seconds from Kim Gi Jung to angle a shot from the left of the court to the extreme right. Sumeeth and Dhruv are nowhere near it to do anything about it.

9-7
Quick point for Chennai as a return from Sa Rang grazes the net.

8-7
Stellar game this is turning out to be. The Mumbai defense is spotless but the rallying comes with an error with Kim Gi Jung angling that one a little too wide. Out of bounds, and Kapila and Reddy celebrate. Slender lead for Chennai but a hard fought one. The reflexes on display here have been phenomenal so far.

7-6 Just when you think Mumbai is running away with it, Dhruv Kapila matches the serve speed to steal a point for Chennai.

6-5 Lovely defense from the Korean duo. They've backed each other up to keep the shuttle in play. Chennai plays the shuttle outside the line to give Mumbai a point. Deficit being erased quickly here.

4-2 Errors creeping in from Dhruv Kapila. Few lazy errors there, but the speed from the men in blue is absolutely unplayable for the former. Oh but here comes the big move. Sumeeth Reddy catches Kim Gi Jung completely by surprise there with a smash to Gi Jung's right. Nifty few points there for the Men in Yellow.

Game 1:

15-9: Mumbai wins the first game with considerable ease after initial ruffle.

7-11: The Indians are jumping about sending smashes one after the other. But the cool and composed Kim-Kim duo manage to keep it in play and wait for the error, which they invariably commit to give the Koreans easy points.  

7-7: Nothing much to differentiate between the two teams so far. Net dribbles, smash and retrieves all on display so far.

4-4: Kim Gi Jung and Kim Sa Rang are world championship medallists. They are Mumbai's trump for the night. Chennai's Indian pair of Sumeeth Reddy and Dhruv Kapila holding good so far. Dhruv, another teen performed well in the first match.

It is for the second successive game that Chennai Superstarz has secured the tie within the first three matches. It has proved itself to be the team to beat this season. Mumbai will now play to collect the three remaining points. Every point will count in the race to the semifinals.

MATCH 3: Tommy Sugiarto (Trump) bt Parupalli Kashyap 14-15, 15-10, 15-7

Game 3:

15-7: CHENNAI POCKETS THE TIE 4-0. Sugiarto gets the job done for the Superstarz in the trump match. 

12-6: Sugiarto was almost down, but a brilliant reflex return helps him change the course of play.

9-6: A bad smash from Kashyap - it lands on the same side of the court. A slip of grip, maybe.

8-5: A little bit of smart work, a little agression and a dash of luck - Kashyap gets three consecutive point.

8-2: Trump match and tie almost sealed. Sugiarto is playing on top gear in the third game. It will be difficult to recover from this point for Kashyap.

7-2: Sugiarto sets up a smash with a quick backhand cross shot.

5-1: Kashyap on the offensive for this point and body-binds Sugiarto.

5-0: The Indonesian is going for the kill. He is attacking Kashyap with pounding smashes.

4-0: Tommy Sugiarto in complete control in the third and deciding game.

Game 2:

15-10: Kashyap nets on the forehand and Sugiarto takes it to the deciding game.

14-10: A bad serve from Tommy Sugiarto. 

13-9: Kashyap trying his best to make a comeback in the second game. Gets some right.

10-6: Too many long shots from Kashyap. Sugiarto gets a four-point lead.

8-6: Three back-to-back points for Sugiarto. A lose would set the team back by a point and Sugiarto certainly wouldn't want that to happen.

6-6: A 44-shot rally and Sugiarto closes it with a drop point. Very little to separate the two.

5-5: Kashyap's net play and drops have been exquisite. He comes up with a flat drive for another point.

4-4: Sugiarto started well, but Kashyap makes a strong comeback.

Game 1:

 

14-15: Parupalli Kashyap wins the first game with a body blow.

14-14: Kashyap saves a game point after an intense 36-point rally.

13-13: Kashyap deserves the point. After a brilliant defensive shot to keep the shuttle in play, Kashyap finds the corner box to smash and close the point. An engaging game of badminton to watch and enjoy.

13-12: A clever push from the net from Kashyap to earn a point.

11-10: A cross-court smash from Kashyap ends Sugiarto's winning streak.

10-9: Tommy finds the right moment from the long rally to go for a down the line smash. Kashyap caught on the wrong foot.

9-9: An unforced error from Kashyap at the net.

7-8: Two points at stake for the Indonesian and he is not going to give any easy points for Kashyap. Gets three back-to-back points to reduce the deficit.

4-8: A determined Kashyap slots in a sharp cross-court smash to enjoy a four-point lead.

4-7: Too many net errors from Tommy today.

4-5: Kashyap wins a long rally, has gets a successul review to overturn the call.

3-3: Unforced errors from both the players. Justly, the scores are level.

Chennai Superstarz has picked Tommy Sugiarto as the trump card today. He was in terrific form in the first tie against Sameer Verma of Hyderabad Hunters. Kashyap has been having an inconsistent run and will need to win to keep Mumba Rockets alive in the tie.

 

MATCH 2: Lakshya Sen bt Lee Dong Keun 15-12, 15-10

Game 2:

15-10: A similar net error from Lee and Lakshya gets his second consecutive win at PBL.

14-10: An unforced error from Lee to give Lakshya the match point.

13-10:  A flat down the line half smash perfectly placed to move closer to victory.

12-10: Three points proving to be too far for a jittery Lakshya now.

12-9: Lee emerges on top on this 38-shot rally. Lakshya tumbles while trying to retrieve a smash and concedes the point.

10-6: A delicate cross flick at the net to build a four-point lead from Lakshya. If he continues to play the same way, he certainly has a shot at playing in Olympics this year. That will be massive. It will also depend on the performance of Sai Praneeth and Kidambi Srikanth.

9-6: Lakshya being ruthless here, goes for back to back sharp smashes - Lee gives up after two saves. 

8-6: A desperate Lee goes for another challenge. Unsuccessful again as the shuttle lands outside the baseline.

7-6: A 27-shot rally ends with Lakshya Sen on the top. He was in control throughout and finishes it with a cross shot from the net.

6-5: Unsuccessful challenge from Lee on a down the line smash from Lakshya. Review shows the shuttle land right on the line.

6-4: The experienced Lee makes a comeback with a patient play.

3-4: In eagerness to take the lead, Lakshya becomes over aggressive and sends a smash wide.

1-3: Lakshya misjudges a let to give Lee a two-point lead. Alliteration not intended. 

Game 1:

15:12: Lakshya wins the first game! He has been the dominant player and has maintained the tempo to clinch the first game. He looks in fine form today. Lakshya Sen is the higher ranked player among the two and he is certainly keeping it that way at the moment.

14-12: After missing the previous rally with a net error, Lakshya gets to the game point on yet another long rally with a swift smash from the cross-court.

13-11: A jumping smash down the line from Lakshya.

12-10: Lakshya has been the attacking player among the two, with powerful smash giving him the two-point lead.

9-9: A lapse in concentration, a couple of unforced errors from Lakshya helps the Korean level the score. 

8-6: After winning a thriller against Priyanshu the other night, Lakshya Sen is certainly high on confidence. He is attacking the experienced Lee Dong Keun with telling effect for the early advantage.

The second match of the evening is the men's singles clash between Lakshya Sen of Chennai Superstarz and Lee Dong Keun of Mumbai Rockets.

Game 2:

15-14: Chennai Superstarz pair of Dhruv Kapila and Jessica Pugh have won the second game and with it the mixed doubles match against Kim Gi Jung and Pia Bernadeth, putting their team 1-0 up in the tie.

Game 1:

15-10: The experienced pair of Kim Gi Jung and Pia Bernadeth concede the first game to Chennai's young pair. Dhruv will be back on court for a men's doubles game later in the night.

7-5: Jessica continues her excellent run in her debut year at PBL. She takes charge and drives Chennai into lead in the first break.

2-2: Jessica Pugh has been paired with debutant Dhruv Kapila in tonight's game against Rockets. Satwiksairaj Rankireddy partnered her on the opening day of the PBL. Satwik has been rested to help him recover from the ankle strain.