PBL Season 5 highlights: Chennai Superstarz 4-3 Bengaluru Raptors

Follow our coverage of the of the final tie of the Chennai leg where Chennai Superstarz beat Bengaluru Raptors 4-3.

Dhruv Kapila and Jessica Pugh will lead the mixed doubles challenge in today's tie in Chennai.   -  Special Arrangement

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

What a southern derby it has been! Chennai finishes its home leg with three wins out of three. To see how the last tie of the leg went, scroll below. PBL action now moves to Lucknow. Join us tomorrow to keep up with the live action. Goodbye!

Results: Chennai Superstarz beats Bengaluru Raptors 4-3

MATCH 1: Dhruv Kapila/ Jessica Pugh lost to  Peng Soon Chan / Eom Hye Won 7-15, 8-15 (Trump)

MATCH 2: Tommy Sugiarto bt B. Sai Praneeth 15-13, 10-15, 15-11

MATCH 3: Lakshya Sen (Trump) bt Brice Leverdez 15-5, 15-4 (Trump)

MATCH 4: Gayatri Gopichand lost to Tai Tzu Ying 15-13, 6-15, 6-15.

MATCH 5: Satwiksairaj Rankireddy/Dhruv Kapila beat Peng Soon Chan/ Rian Agung Saputro 13-5, 15-9, 15-9.


MATCH 5: Satwiksairaj Rankireddy/Dhruv Kapila beat Peng Soon Chan/ Rian Agung Saputro 13-5, 15-9, 15-9.

Game 3: Chennai wins 15-9.

Too easy here. 19-year-olds have shown the legends how to do it and here's where the real show begins. Satwik is dancing, ladies and gentlemen.
Again. Too wide from Chan. A point and Satwik will dance.

Incredible pick up from Dhruv Kapila. He is down, he has lost balance. But he still manages a return and Raptors fire a return that's too wide. Satwik is ecstatic.

Service, into the net. Chan is not happy

Ah botched that one up by the net, the shuttle falls back into Chennai's part of the court. The drummer doesn't care. The beats have begun. The home team has its support rallying behind it.

Another confident cross court smash there from Kapila. Three-point lead now. Five points on the trot now.

Great anticipation from Dhruv Kapila. The cushion now extends to two points. After playing it close to the net, Kapila lodges it long, but within bounds and neither of the Raptors are there to collect.

Satwik smashes into Saputro's body. The crowd is up on its feet now.

Satwik equalises with some great defending by the net. A backhand cross court shot finds no one to collect it. Point Chennai.

Wide from the Raptors, close to the net.

Raptors walks into the break leading here. They lead by two points, Chan and Saputro. Can Dhruv and Satwik manage to channel some of their energy from the previous game?

Saputro was outstanding there. Satwik takes his time and smashes one into Saputro who reacts inhumanly to make contact there and lodge it back. But the focus is broken and Kapila takes advantage to register a point in their favour.

Good drop there from Chan and Kapila rams into the net trying to get that one. Well done.

Lovely rally. Good defense from Satwik and Dhruv and the switch to attack was marvellous. 34 shots and the boys in yellow have the last laugh as the Raptors find the net in return.

Too long there from Dhruv.

Encore, but from Saputro now. Wide. Satwik leaves. Point Chennai.

Too wide here from the Raptors. Another point gifted to Chennai. Satwik leaves that effort from Chan.

Service fault from Raptors. Point gifted to Chennai.

Smashed into the net by Satwik here. This does not look like the Chennai that came on a few minutes ago in the second game of the match.

Dhruv Kapila can' get the tumble to go over, it catches the tape and falls back in Chennai's side of the court.

What a smash here from Kapila. He does not let Satwik do anything, uses sheer pace and catches everything coming his way to finally smash one down in the mid court area.

Into the net from Chennai. Three points given, in the decider. It's advantage Raptors.

0-2 Lovely rally, played quite close to the net this one. Good defense here from the Raptors but Kapila lodges it a little too long. Point to Raptors, Kapila reviews, loses.

0-1 Nicely done, half smash from Chan finds neither men in yellow getting to it. Aggression from the Raptors.

This match is tied 1-1. The tie itself is tied 3-3. A win in this game will also mean a win for that team. What a way to end the night and the leg! We're back for the decider.

Game 2: Chennai takes the game 15-9.

Wide near the net by the Raptors here and we are into a decider here at the Nehru stadium. Stay with us, while I step out for a quick gulp of water.

A point each thanks to faulty serves here sets up game point for the home side.

Oh oh. Not neat there from Satwik. Just too long and a point goes to the Raptors. And he has snapped a string in his racquet here.

Too long from Chan. But the umpire gives the Raptors a point. Satwik reviews. He wins. Point Chennai.

This game is all about Satwiksairaj! Lovely pace and at one point, it was Satwik taking on both his opponents. Kapila is happy to play second fiddle here.

11-7 Wide again there. They need to stem the errors here.

Brute force from Satwik, down the court into the back. Lovely smash to steal a point there.

Just wide from Dhuv Kapila. Point to the Raptors.

Oh smash, right at the legs. Sheer pace from Satwik and that's the man we know.

Quick flurry of points here for the Raptors. Satwik/Kapila are going a little too wide here sometimes.

The Malaysian-Indonesian duo trail 8-2 at the break now. Good come back from the Chennai team here in this game.

7-2: The Chennai pair now has a 5-point cushion with some quick play.  

3-2: Satwik and Dhruv have been attacking the Raptors relentlessly. But for unforced errors, the duo could have won the first game.

Game 1:

13-15: Raptors takes the first game in this exciting final match. 

13-14: What a rally! Again, Chennai kept attacking and Raptors kept defending - both brilliantly. But Chennai gets the final point after a forceful smash is returned wide by the Raptors.

11-12: A backhand unforced error from Satwik at an inopportune time for the Superstarz.

10-9: A big smash from Satwik after Dhruv sets it nicely with classy net play.

9-7: Hyper-energetic Indian pair is keeping the Raptors on their toes.  

7-7: Brilliant return of serve - a 340kmph smash from Satwik

4-6: Saputro and Chan take the lead with measured returns.

4-2:  Dhruv Kapila moving about nimbly and attacking from the net, gets one smash close to Chan body for a winner.

1-1: 40 shots. The Indians kept jumping and attacking, the Raptors pair kept defending with great reflex. A change of pace from Dhruv Kapila in return finally does the trick for Chennai. 

MATCH 4: Gayatri Gopichand lost to Tai Tzu Ying 15-13, 6-15, 6-15.

Game 3:

"I feel great, it's a dream come true. She has always been my idol. I am very happy," Gayatri Gopichand after a creditable performance against Tai Tzu Ying.

6-15: TAI TZU COMPLETES THE WIN. The tie to now be decided in the fifth and final match after the scores are tied 3-3. 

5-13: Another wide shot from Tai Tzu.

4-13: Tai Tzu hits a return long.

2-12: Tai Tzu with a deft touch to the forecourt corner. No more surprises now.

2-8: The match is now taking the expected course after the initial surprise. Tai Tzu fully in control of the situation now. But nothing to take away from Gayatri. She is making Tai Tzu work hard for her points.

2-6: Gayatri tries her best with a cross-court drop, but it doesn't cross the net. Gayatri is not giving in easily.

1-1: A long rally - 23 shots - and Gayatri forces Tai Tzu Ying to err. The crowd is in raptures.

Game 2:

6-15: Tai Tzu restores normalcy by taking the second game comfortably.

5-12: Three back-to-back points from Gayatri . Two drops at the cross court net.

2-8: Tai Tzu has upped her game considerably. She is packing in insane amount of power into her smashes. It is not very common to see Tai Tzu play such hurried game of badminton. Gayatri has stirred her.

1-5: Tai Tzu Ying has shifted gears now. She pulls away from Gayatri with a more aggressive outing in the second game.

Game 1:


14-12: A nervy net error from Gayatri.

14-11: At this point, we are lost for words. Gayatri is on the verge of winning the first game. 

12-10: Tai Tzu being challenged by a 16-year-old. The Indian has the whole stadium rooting for her. Totally unexpected scoreline, who would have thought!


5-6: A brilliant drop shot from behind from Gayatri. Tai Tzu almost fell trying to reach that dipping shuttle at the net. No signs of nerves from Gayatri.

4-4: Gayatri is holding her ground and is trying to deceive the master of deception. Successful to an extent as well.

3-1: Gayatri begins well. She is actually in the lead at the moment against one of the best players in the world! What a positive start from the teen. Father Gopichand would be proud.

Another fantastic opportunity for 16-year-old Gayatri Gopichand to learn from the best tonight. She will face Tai Tzu Ying in the women's singles.  

In other news, Roger Federer came through a pulsating five-setter in the third round of the Australian Open against John Millman. Federer, who was a break down in the fifth set, prevailed in the super tie-break. For more on the thrillier, click here.


MATCH 3: Lakshya Sen (Trump) bt Brice Leverdez 15-5, 15-4.

Game 2:

15-4: LAKSHYA COMPLETES A DOMINANT WIN OVER BRICE LEVERDEZ. Chennai Superstarz takes a 3-1 lead against Bengaluru Raptors. This was a trump match and Lakshya gets the job done for the team.

14-4: Lakshya relentless with his shots. After patiently waiting for Brice to commit an error in a 26-shot rally, closes out the next point with a body smash.

10-3: Lalshya Sen cruising in his second and final trump match. Did you know the players are allowed to play only two trump matches for their teams in a season?

9-3: A SABR in badminton from Lakshya to catch Brice off-guard. Lakshya follows it up with a placement at the other corner. 

7-3: The Frenchman gets Lakshya to make a mistake at the forecourt.

6-1: Brice not helping his cause with unforced errors at the net.

4-1: Brice finally gets a point after a smash from the net.

2-0: Lakshya continues in the same vein. Brice was going for the attack, but Lakshya manages to keep the shuttle in play and induces a net error from the Frenchman. 

Game 1:

15-5: Easy peasy! Lakshya wins the first game in no time. Shortest game of the night so far. Brice Leverdez is only eight rungs below the Indian youngster in the ranking. It just shows how good Lakshya has been tonight.

13-4: Ruthless Lakshya turns midair to send a cross-court to the left.

10-3: Lakshya going for his third win in a row and is on course for that. After being pushed to the edge by his friend and travel partner Priyanshu Rajawat in the opening match on Monday, he has only shown improvement. Today, he seems to be in complete control.

8-2: World No. 30 Lakshya Sen takes a six-point lead. He was almost teasing the Frenchman at the net with casual slices.

4-2: Early advantage for Lakshya Sen. With the weekend upon us, Chennaiites have thronged the stadium and are cheering the home team unabashedly.

Lakshya has been given the responsibility of earning two points for the second time in three matches by Chennai Superstarz. He is unbeaten this season and registered a commanding win in the match against experienced Korean Lee Dong Keun.

Match 2: Tommy Sugiarto bt B. Sai Praneeth 15-13, 10-15, 15-11

Game 3:

15-11: Sai attempts a drop at the net. It was too soft a touch and the shuttle doesn't cross his side of the net. The crowd erupts in joy.

14-10: Another wrong judgement call from Sai. Not the time to make those errors.

13-10: Sai Praneeth wins one more point to stay alive in the contest after forcing Sugiarto to return wide.

13-9: Sai hangs in there finishing on the right side of an excellent rally - 49 shots. There were some brilliant retrieves from Sai there. He certainly deserved  that point. But is it too late now?

12-7: Another long return from Sai to concede a five-point lead. It will be very difficult to make a comeback now.

11-7: Sai Praneeth desperate for points, is playing quite aggressively now.

9-5: Losing count of the number of rallies this game has witnessed. A dipping return catches Sai Praneeth short.

8-5: Sugiarto takes a three-point lead in the deciding game.

Tommy takes a medical checkout, gets a pain-relieving spray on his right hand. No major trouble, as far as we can see.

6-5: Rally check : 38 shots. Winner: Sugiarto again. Sai's return sails long this time. 

5-5: Another rally ends with a half smash across the corner for Sugiarto. He is now level 5-5.

4-5: Sugiarto making Sai Praneeth work hard for his points.

1-3: After letting Sai Praneeth take the early advantage, a forceful Sugiarto pushes Sai to the corners and finishes with a beautiful cross court smash. Arcing to his left, Sugiarto targets the diagonal corner for a winner.

0-1: Sai Praneeth is in the zone. Comes with a 300 kmph smash down the line take the first point in the decider

Game 2:

10-15: Sai Praneeth with back-to-back winners. He takes the game after a net error from Sugiarto. There was no stopping Sai there.

10-12: An angry smash from Sai Praneeth after misjudging a let.

9-10: Rallies continue, this time Sugiarto has the last laugh with an effective cross-court smash.

Sugiarto's reach has been quantified: He has been stretching nearly 3m for returns and is jumping a height of 2.9m to smash.

8-7: A narrow lead for Sai Praneeth.

7-6: Three consecutive points for Sugiarto. It has been a familar script for Sai so far. A strong start followed by a jittery run in the middle - he is yet to win a single match this year.

6-2: Sugiarto tries to break Sai Praneeth's momentum with a challenge. That smash was well within the sideline. No harm done. 

2-2: Exhausting rallies but the two are holding their ground well.

1-1: The home crowd is fully invested in this engaging battle. The two are playing high-quality badminton.

Game 1:

15-13: Sai Praneeth tried his best to make a comeback, but Sugiarto keeps his cool to take the first game.  Sai Praneeth made life difficult with his placement, but a stretching Sugiarto made some impressive returns to cancel out what looked like certain winners from the Indian.

13-11: Satwiksairaj approves of that return from Sugiarto. He has been in a joyful mood throughout this week and does a sitting bhangra after Sugiarto inches closer to sealing the first game.

12-11: The shuttle was curving in, Sai fails to see that and misjudges a let.

10-8: A brilliant rally - drops, smashes, net dribbles; it was a delightful rally. Sugiarto fails to retrieve one quite close to the net to hand Sai Praneeth the point.  He would be mighty pleased with that one.

8-8: Sai Praneeth lets Sugiarto level the score with unforced errors. An unsuccessful challenge not helping things either.

4-8: Sai Praneeth's angled smashes are a delight to watch. Deceptive and effective, he deploys that shot yet again to take an 8-4 lead. It must be remembered that Sai Praneeth began well in his previous match as well. The focus, now, should be to sustain the momentum.

3-7: We must admit we got slightly distracted by Federer's victory, but we are back. Sai Praneeth gets a good start against an in-form Tommy Sugiarto.

Match 1: Dhruv Kapila/ Jessica Pugh lost to  Peng Soon Chan / Eom Hye Won 7-15, 8-15 (Trump)

Game 2:

8-15: BENGALURU WINS THE MATCH AND POCKETS TWO POINTS. It was quite an easy win for the Raptors. For the first time this year, Chennai concedes the first match.

8-13: Back-to-back misses from Dhruv and the Raptors are two points away from gaining two points from their trump match.

7-10: The spectators are rooting for Jessica and she comes with a fabulous smash to close a tough rally.

6-10: The crowd tried to cheer up the home team with some vociferous chants but no change in fortunes yet for the Superstarz. 

7-6: Eom Won's misjudges a let call, attempts a return a second too late for a weak return and concedes the point. 

5-4: Chan Peng comes down hard with a smash to catch Jessica in an uncomfortable spot. The experienced pair finishes on the right side of the 36-shot rally.

4-3: Jessica and Kapila, cheered on by the home crowd, have risen up to the challenge in the second game.

2-3: Jessica capitalises on a weak serve to close the point with a smash.

1-0: Two points at stake in the first match for Raptors.

Game 1:

7-15: Raptors takes the first game quite comfortably.

7-14: Dhruv saves a match point with a push to the baseline. 

5-10: Jessica's unwavering focus has stood out in the tournament so far. She comes up with a couple of aggressive returns to give Chennai's score a push.

2-9: The Malaysian-Korean pair have been too good so far, resorting to body smashes to win easy points. Jessica and Dhruv had defeated the experienced pair of Kim Jung and Pia Bernadeth in the match against Mumbai Rockets.

1-7: Chennai hasn't had much success after winning the first point of the night though a terrific smash from Jessica Pugh. Trumps Peng Chan and Eom Won have forced Dhruv to err and race to a 1-7 lead .


Bengaluru Raptors has opted for the mixed doubles pair to take on the trump duty tonight. Given Chennai's record of sealing the tie within the first three matches this week, Bengaluru has placed its bet on the first match of the night. Gayatri Gopichand set for another big night as she faces World No. 2 Tai Tzu Ying.

Here's a summary of yesterday's thrilling tie between North Eastern Warriors and Awadhe Warriors

We saw a tie that went right down to the last match, with thrilling performances from Cristinna Pedersen, Ko Sung Hyun and Subhankar Dey give them a hard-fought 4-3 win.

For NE Warriors, Bodin Isara and Kim Ha Na fell short right at the start, but Bodin seemed to have a whale of a time on the bench cheering his mates on. But the star of the night for the side has to be 19-year-old Krishna Prasad Garaga who almost took his team through in the men's double game.

You can go through the proceedings of tie 4 as it happened here or click here for the match report by Dominic Richard.


Friday's Order of play:

Mixed doubles: Dhruv Kapila/ Jessica Pugh vs Peng Soon Chan / Eom Hye Won (Trump)

Men's Singles: Tommy Sugiarto vs B. Sai Praneeth

Men's Singles: Lakshya Sen (Trump) vs Brice Leverdez

Women's Singles: Gayatri Gopichand vs Tai Tzu Ying

Men's doubles: Satwiksairaj Rankireddy/Dhruv Kapila vs Peng Soon Chan/ Rian Agung Saputro