Bengaluru, January 13: A year after losing a narrow final to the Hyderabad Hunters, Bengaluru Raptors edged the Mumbai Rockets 4-3 to win their first title at the Vodafone Premier Badminton League Season 4 at the Kanteerava Indoor Stadium, here on Sunday (January 13). Thanks to the win, the Raptors were richer by Rs. 3 crores and the Mumbai team got Rs. 1.5 crores as the runners-up.
With BAI president Himanta Biswa Sarma and badminton legend Prakash Padukone and Indian National Coach, Pullela Gopichand in attendance, Bengaluru skipper Srikanth gave a vital men's singles win to his team before the doubles pair of Hendra Setiawan and Mohammad Ahsan sealed the win in front of a rapturous home crowd.
The Bengaluru talisman rode on his smashes to open up a 5-1 lead and extended it to 10-4 in a completely one-sided display. Antonsen used his tight spinning net game to trouble Srikanth in the first half of the second game and made it 5-5. But that was all he could do against a determined Srikanth who went up to 12-9 and closed out the match for his eighth win on the trot.
Hendra Setiawan and Mohammad Ahsan showed that age is just a number. With the entire stadium cheering vociferously for the Raptors pair, the former world champions never put their foot wrong and finished off a 15-13, 15-10 win.
The World No. 9 pair's reflexes were too much for Mumbai's Lee Yong Dae and Kim GI Jung and it was only a matter of time before the men in yellow grabbed the much-coveted win.
World No. 59 Vu Thi Trang had the responsibility of playing the Trump match for Bengaluru against Mumbai's 202nd ranked Shreyanshi Pardeshi and she thoroughly lived up to the expectations, notching up a 15-8, 15-9 win.
Overcoming a slow start, she took five consecutive points to go up to 8-6 and effortlessly closed out the opener. Pardeshi gave a much better account of herself in the second game, remaining toe-to-toe with her rival until 8-8.
The Vietnamese banked on her tremendous defensive skills to come out on top of a 22-shot rally and that was all she needed to slam shut whatever little chances the young Indian had. She pocketed six of the next seven points to complete the triumph.
Earlier, Mumbai Trump Pia Zebadiah and Kim Gi Jung made it a fabulous start for Mumbai with a 15-8, 15-14 win. The two ensured that their attack was always on point and made life difficult for the Raptors' Marcus Ellis and Lauren Smith.
World No. 12 Sameer Verma bounced back from a poor start to avenge his league stage defeat to Bengaluru's Sai Praneeth. Sai kept attacking the forehand wing of Sameer to draw out errors from his compatriot to take the first game.
The two remained on par till 13-13 in a riveting second game until the gritty Mumbai ace set up a decider where he carved out a 7-15, 15-12, 15-3 win.
While the total prize money for this season was INR 6 crores. The teams which finished in the third and fourth places -- Hyderabad Hunters and Awadhe Warriors -- were awarded Rs. 75 lakhs each.
Here's how the FINAL turned out to be:
Award Winners: Best Comeback of the Tie - Sameer Verma Attacking Player of the Tie - Kidambi Srikanth Indian Oil Indian Player of the Tie - Kidambi Srikanth Smartest Player of the Tie - Sameer Verma Attacking Player of the League - Mathias Christiansen Emerging Player of the League - Anders Antonsen Indian Oil Indian Player of the League - Sameer Verma Vodafone Smartest Player of the League - Kidambi Srikanth
They've done it! Bengaluru Raptors WIN #pbl4 as they beat Mumbai Rockets 4-3 in the final. Sensational finish!
8-3! Mohammad Ahsan and Hendra Setiawan of Bengaluru Raptors are leading at break against Mumbai Rockets' Lee Yongdae and Kim Gijung.
Mohammad Ahsan and Hendra Setiawan of Bengaluru Raptors win first game 15-13 against Mumbai Rockets' Lee Yongdae and Kim Gijung
Game 1: At break! Raptors have a lead of 2 points against Rockets!
Final Showdown!! Mumbai's Lee Yongdae and Kim Gijung now take on Mohammad Ahsan and Hendra Setiawan of Bengaluru in men's double. The winner of this game will clinch the title!
He's done it in style! Sameer beats Sai Praneeth 7-15, 15-12, 15-3 to make the tie 3-3! It has all boiled down to men's doubles. Praneeth was no match to a resurgent Sameer tonight.
8-3! At break, Sameer leads Sai Praneeth by a difference of 5 points.
The third and deciding game begins! Who is going to prevail??
The Giant Killer Sai Praneeth will lock horns with Sameer Verma in the fourth match of the Tie. If Sai wins this one, Raptors will be crowned champions.
Game 2: Shriyanshi is not ready to give up easily. She's putting up a display in this game. 6-6!
Vu Thi wins the first game 15-8! Raptors' camp is looking happy at the moment.
Vu 8-6 Shriyanshi !! Vu gets back in the game, and gets back strong! She leads at the break by 2 points.
Women's Singles! Vu Thi Trang Bengaluru Raptors takes on Shriyanshi Pardeshi of Mumbai Rockets.
That's it! The captain gives Bengaluru Raptors their first win. Srikanth remains unbeaten in this season as he beats Anders Antonsen 15-7, 15-10.
Super Match! Kidambi Srikanth (World No. 8) will take on Anders Antonsen (World No. 18). Srikanth leads Anders 1-0 in Head to Head encounters in PBL.
Trump Game! Mumbai Rockets take the mixed doubles game 15-8, 15-14 against Bengaluru Raptors.
Ellis/Smith 1⃣4⃣ - 1⃣5⃣ Kim/Pia— PBL India (@PBLIndiaLive) January 13, 2019
It went down to the hawk eye and @bernadetttt & Kim Gi Jung won the golden point to win their Trump match in straight games. The Tie stands at 2-0 in favour of @Mumbai_Rockets_.#VodafonePBL #BENvMUM
Game 2: Ellis/Smith 13-13 Kim/Pia It's going neck and neck!
1st game: At mid-point! Rockets lead Raptors 8-5!
Trump Game Starts with Mixed Doubles Game! Marcus Elis and Lauren Smith of Bengaluru Raptors are up against Mumbai Rockets' Kim Gi Jung and Pia Zebadiah.
Source: PBL Release