PBL Season 5: Chennai Superstarz 5-2 Hyderabad Hunters

Hyderabad Hunters, led by PV Sindhu, will take on Chennai Superstarz to kick off season 5 of Premier Badminton League in Chennai.

P.V. Sindhu will lead the charge for Hyderabad Hunters in the fifth edition pf PBL.   -  Special Arrangement

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

How about some crash course to get you up to speed on the league? Read this preview written by our colleague Dominic Richard to find out all you need to know about Season 5 of PBL.

Live Blog:

Chennai Superstarz vs Hyderabad Hunters

Order of Play:

Mixed doubles:  Rankireddy / J.Pugh vs  V.Ivanov / N.S.Reddy -

Men's singles: Sugiarto vs  S. Verma

Men's Singles: Lakshya Sen (Trump) vs P. Rajawat

Women's Singles: Gayatri Gopichand vs P.V. Sindhu (Trump)

Men's doubles: S. Rankireddy/ B. S. Reddy vs B. Lane / S. Vendy


MATCH 5: The final match of the day is the men's doubles: Satwik Sairaj Rankireddy and B. Sumeet Reddy vs Ben Lane and Sean Vendy.

Game 3:

15-8: Game, match sealed. The Telugu speaking Hyderabad pair seal the match to given Chennai Superstarz a 5-2 win on day one of this edition of PBL. And that has Satwik bring out more dance moves in front of the home crowd.

14-8: Clinical finish from Sumeet takes Chennai Superstarz to match point.

12-8: A smash into the body of Sumeet from Ben Lane takes this game to 12-8.

10-6: A drop shot from Sumeet is somehow returned by a diving Ben Lane but Satwick smashes a winner into the space vacated by Ben.

8-6: Satwik and Sumeet take the lead at the break for the first time in this match. If they can hold on to it, it will cap a fantastic day on home soil for Chennai Superstarz.

6-5: A Satwik power smash from the baseline! Hasn't come off all the time today but this one put the teams back on level terms. And Team Chennai then follows it up by taking the lead for the first time in this game.

4-4: Oops. Sean Vendy gets eager to finish his serve and ends up going wide.

2-3: Precision from Sumeet to attack the gap between Ben Lane's feet and claw back a few points for Chennai Superstarz.

0-2: The English pair likes a good start, don't they? Impressive stuff on their PBL debut. They have taken the lead again in this game. Can they hold on and seal this match?

Game 2:

11-15: And the English pair takes the game after squandering three nervy rallies. Off we go to the decider.

8-14: A 367 kmph smash from Ben Lane takes the Hyderabad pair to game point.

8-13: So so good defensively from the English pair but they can't hold on too long. Satwik and Sumeet's smashes seem to get aggressive with each defence and this time they force their opponents into errors.

3-10: The left-right combo has helped the English pair cover their court a lot easier and they take two points easily after the break. And we can hear Sindhu cheering her teammates on from the sidelines. And pretty vocal too!

3-8: Satwick in the air on the base line and smashes it....into the net. That has been a theme today and the Enlgish pair reducing their errors in the second game means they have a better lead at the break now. Can they hold on and take this game?

2-5: Fanatstic defence from the English pair! The left-right combination works wonders for them as they frustrate the Chennai pair into making a mistake.

0-3: Ben Lane and Sean Vendy convert their defence into offence with a cross-court smash to take the first point of the second game. And then go on the attack from the start to increase their lead to 3-0.

Game 1:

15-14: The pressure is too much for the English pair, on their debut, and Sean goes wide trying to place his return just over the net. Hyderabad Hunters have taken the first game here.

14-14: Sumeet atones for that with a fanatstic smash between the English pair that goes unanswered.

13-14: Clinical from Ben Lane. He doesn't give Sumeet too much space with his backhand flick and the Indian goes too wide.

12-12: Ben Lane is squeezed for space and almost ends the 24-shot rally with a net cord.

9-12: Sumeet and Satwik's smashes aren't going where they want to, so far. Both have taken tunrs in going long and failing to clear the net. Hyderabad's English duo are being gifted one point too many here.

6-8: At the break, Ben and Sean have taken the lead. The Team Hyderabad pair have stayed ahead of their Chennai opponents throughout the first game, with their defensive game seeing them through for now.

2-3: Postitive start for Hyderabad Hunters as they take the lead again. Satwik doesn't get the height he wanted and his return is into the net.

0-1: Satwik goes long with a smash and that's the first point of the game to Hyderabad Hunters.


Though the tie is sealed, points collected from the remaining two matches will help in the rankings chart.

It's time for the most anticipated clash of the night between Gopichand's most successful student and world Champion P.V. Sindhu and his daughter Gayatri.

It's Sindhu's trump match for Hyderabad Hunters and no prizes for guessing the favourite for the match.

Game 2:

TIE: Chennai Superstarz 4-2 Hyderabad Hunters

5-15: SINDHU WINS. Hyderabad gets its first points of the night a little too late.

5-13: A net chord from Sindhu gives Gayatri a point.

4-12: A couple of good rallies, but Gayatri is unable to sustain it.

4-8: On-court lessons from Sindhu to Gayatri. Sindhu focuses on placements to make Gayatri run around. 

3-5: PV calls for a challenge a little too late and is denied after hitting long.

2-4: First attacking point from Gayatri. she is playing much better than the first game, gaining in confidence.

1-1: Early point from Gayatri

Game 1:

5-15 : Sindhu pockets the first game in 10 minutes.

5-13: Gayatri is moving around well, but still no match for the experienced Sindhu. A couple of misses from the champion gives Gayatri confidence-boosting points. 

2-11: Sindhu showing no mercy whatsoever. The senior is calling all the shots. 

1-8: Gayatri's first point gets a loud cheer from the crowd.

Chennai Superstarz takes an unassailable 4-0 lead in the match against Hyderabad Hunters.

Match 3: Lakshya Sen (Trump) vs Priyanshu Rajawat

Chennai has picked 18-year-old Lakshya Sen as its trump for this tie and will  seal the tie if Lakshya wins the match against debutant Priyanshu Rajawat (Age 17).  Lakshya won five tournaments in the senior circuit to climb to World No. 32 in 2019.

Game 3:

15-14 -EXPERIENCE WINS. LAKSHYA keeps his cool to win the the deciding point to seal the tie for Chennai Superstarz.  WHAT A MATCH!.

14-14: Lucky net chord to level from Priyanshu!

13-13. What a rally! Lakshya and Priyanshu giving it their all, but the latter gets it on the line to end on the right side.

12-12: No better time to defendthe way Lakshya Sen did than now. Such quick reflexes gets him level on the score.

11-12 - Lakshya with a powerful smash to save the game. 

10-11: Priyanshu is making all the right moves. Lakshya under the pump. A -1 beckons.

10-9: A 25-shot rally ends with a long return from Lakshya. Lakshya is looking exhausted.

9-8: Too close for comfort for Lakshya Sen. It is undoubtedly the most tense game of the tie so far.

6-3: Lakshya, though just a year older, has more experience in the professional circuit and that is showing under pressure. He has taken a crucial lead.

4-3: Lakshya, playing defensively, persists with his tactics and forces Priyanshu to err first to take the lead.

2-3: Priyanshu some wristy smash to deceive Lakshya.

0-1: Lakshya, the favourite to win, is feeling the heat from the little known youngster. Sprightly jump smashes from Priyanshu as he takes the first point in the deciding game.

Game 2:

13-15: PRIYANSHU WINS THE SECOND GAME. The 17-year-old packs power into his return to win an unforgettable game for him.

12-14: Game point againt Lakshya Sen!

12-12: Obstruction tactic fails as Lakshya levels with a smash past the Hunters teen. 

10-12: Lakshya Sen under pressure now. Priyanshu is jumping around and steering the play.

8-10: Priyanshu is winning all the big points. A surprising turn of events.

6-7: Priyanshu with some impressive smashes to stay in the game. It's turning out to be an intense battle between the two young hopefuls from the country.

5-6: Priyanshu Rajawat comes up with brilliant cross-court placement to regain lead.

4-3: After shortly leading, Rajawat gives away two quick points to concede the lead to Lakshya Sen.

Game 1:

15-6  - Lakshya Sen seals the first game. Two points are at stake for Chennai here.

13-6 - A brilliant smash for a dose of confidence fo Rajawat

13-5: A dip in pace from Rajawat as Lakshya Sen closes out points with ease for an 8-point lead.  

7-4: Lakshya seems sure about his placements after making Rajawat run around. Both the players are giving it all their on the court. But Lakshya has raced from 4-4 with dominant smashes.

2-2: Priyanshu Rajawat matching Lakshya Sen for now both in shots and efforts.

Match 2: Tommy Sugiarto bt Sourabh Verma 15-11, 15-10.

Game 2:

15-10: Sugiarto forces Sourabh to make a mistake after an intense rally a to give Chennai 2-0 lead.

13-9:  The Indonesian is pouncing on Sourabh, creating the open space for a smash.

12-7: Jinxed. Sugiarto running away with a five-point lead now in no time. 

8-7: Sourabh manages to get a cross court drive from outside the court to end on the right side of a quality rally. 

8-6: It has been a fairly balanced game with both showing glimpses of brilliance, but Sugiarto takes the lead with lesser number of unforced errors.

5-5: A long rally ends with a Sourabh down the line smash that lands just wide.

1-4: Sourabh Verma begins with a successful challenge and builds a three-point lead. Another three-gamer on cards?

Game 1:

15-11: Sugiarto wins Games 1. Simple but effective strategy from Sugiarto. Targets the same area with his smashes and gets the result in the third attempt.

14-11: The Indonesian angles it to Sourabh's right-corner. A desperate Indians challenges the call. The shuttle was in by quite a margin.

13-10: Sugiarto challenges an out call. Unsuccessful.

11-9: Sugiarto is dominating from the centre of the court, Sourabh should avoid feeding the returns to the centre.

10-8: Sugiarto is playing in fifth gear now. Smashes coming in one after the other as he overtakes Sourabh.

7-8: Sugiarto with a powerful smash followed by a body hit. He is back in the game.

5-8: Saurabh has looked the better player against the former World No. 3 till now, going for his shots and forcing errors from the Indonesian.

4-7: Just as we said it, Verma takes a three-point lead. Sugiarto is probably still warming up, but he must remember it is a 15-point games.

4-4: On an even keel so far. The Indonesian and the Indian begin cautiously. 

Match 1 RESULT: Rankireddy / Jessica bt vs Ivanov/ Sikki Reddy 15-6, 13-15, 15-13. Chennai leads 1-0

Game 3:

15-13: Match ends the way it started. Jessica with a flick to help Chennai take the first match. Chennai leads 1-0.

Note: The first to 15 points will win the game in PBL even if the score is 14-14. A two-point difference is not needed.

13-12: Sikki error gives Chennai the lead for the first time, couldn't have come at a better time.

10-12: Jessica wins a challenge after being called out. The ball was in by a thinnest margin.

9-11: Sikki misses a smash and gifts a crucial point to Chennai.

6-9: Satwik and Jessica tryng to cut down errors. Satwik wins a good rally with a well-placed smash.

4-8: The experienced pair of Sikki Reddy and Ivanov have risen to the challenge in the decider. Wait for Jessica to commit an error at the net to take the mid-game lead.

3-7: Hyderabad racing away with a four-point lead. A complete contrast to Game 1.

2-5: Satwik has taken the role of the aggresor in the decider, but Sikki and Ivanov are acing the reflex games to take the points.

1-0: Satwik goes for the kill on a weak serve with a jumping smash. Unplayable!

Game 2:

13-15: Hyderabad stays alive: Satwik's fall seems to have swung the moment. The first match goes into a decider.

10-12: Ankle trouble resurfaces for Satwiksai, but umpire refuses timeout and has even given Satwik an official warning for misconduct!.


9-12: Woman power in full force today. Sikki for Hyderabad and Jessica for Chennai have been dictating play with tremendous net play.

9-9 Sikki Reddy is not giving up. She is charging to the net and closing points. They have levelled for the first time.

8-5 Chennai has taken a 8-5 lead. A little bit of injury concern for Satwik after twisting his ankle while attempting a smash. After a medical review, he returns to play. No damage done.

Game 1

Chennai wins Game 1 15-6:   Jessica Pugh is dictating play on her debut. Playing for Chennai Superstarz alongside Satwik, it's been Jessica's brilliance all the way. Chennai captured the first game 15-6 in no time.

Preview of today's tie:

Home side Chennai Superstarz will face 2017-18 champion Hyderabad Hunters in this edition's season opener. An important subject of this tie will be the women's singles matchup between star player P.V. Sindhu and 16-year-old Gayatri Gopichand.

Scotland's Kirsty Gilmour was expected to face Sindhu in Chennai, however, the world No. 31 will now join the Superstarz only during the Lucknow leg, making way for the Sindhu-Gayatri encounter.

In men's singles, former world No. 3 Sugiarto from Indonesia and India's Lakshya, who won five titles in 2019, will represent Chennai. On the other hand, Hyderabad will be represented by Malaysian shuttler Daren Liew, 2018 World Championships bronze medalist, and Indian world No. 28 Sourabh Verma. 

After Manu Attri was ruled out for the Superstarz, Satwiksairaj would be expected to do a double shift for the team in mixed doubles, with England's Gabrielle Adcock, and in men's doubles, with Sumeeth Reddy. The English duo of Ben Lane and Sean Vendy, world No. 32, will most probably be the Hunters' pick for men's doubles, while Russian Vladimir Ivanov will pair up with Sikki Reddy in the mixed.

With PBL returning to Chennai after two years and a new franchise representing the city, the host will be looking to make maximum use of its three home games. Meanwhile, Hunters, the only team to make the semifinals in all of the last three years, will be trying to make a statement once again at the expense of the Superstarz.