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PBL 2020: Tai Tzu Ying, Satwik, Chirag to dazzle in semifinals

Bengaluru Raptors will pin their hopes on Tai Tzu Ying in PBL semifinals

Hyderabad, February 7: After 18 days of thrilling action, the fifth season of the Premier Badminton League (PBL) has reached the knock-out stage where North Eastern Warriors face Chennai Superstarz in the first semi-final Friday (February 7) at the GMC Balayogi SATS Indoor Stadium in Hyderabad.

Meanwhile, Pune 7 Aces will meet the defending champions Bengaluru Raptors in the second semi-final on Saturday (February 8) at the same venue.

This season has witnessed a remarkable turnaround from two teams who failed to qualify for the semi-finals last year. North Eastern Warriors and Pune 7 Aces bounced back in stellar fashion to announce themselves as two of the strongest title contenders.

North Eastern Warriors

North Eastern Warriors

True to their name, the Warriors came prepared to tackle their mighty adversaries and exhibited a lot of determination as they notched up 13 wins from 30 outings to bag 22 points and finish at the top of the table along with defending champions Bengaluru Raptors.

World No. 10 Michelle Li's confidence coupled with 2020 Indonesia Masters semi-finalist Lee Cheuk Yiu's scintillating form helped the Lee Yong Dae-led team dazzle.

Chennai Superstarz

Chennai Superstarz

Warriors would definitely not like to stop as they meet the Chennai Superstarz today, whom they got the better of in their solitary encounter this season. That said, the Chennai franchise is the winner of the second season and certainly knows how to lift itself under pressure, as evidenced by its flawless six Trump wins from as many outings - the only team to win all their Trump matches this season.

18-year-old Lakshya Sen's maturity has been a key reason why the Superstarz shone brightly and they also had valuable contribution from the likes of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and the unbeaten Tommy Sugiarto.

Pune 7 Aces

Pune 7 Aces

The second semi-final will be a battle of wits and courage. Pune had missed out on progressing by a whisker in the last season but this time Hendra Setiawan and Chirag Shetty ensured that the Aces make their intentions clear right from the start. They are here to settle for nothing less than the trophy and their talismanic men's doubles pair's 5 wins from 6 appearances certainly validate that.

Young Rituparna Das' fearlessness worked wonders for the team when she stunned World No. 14 Beiwen Zhang apart from showing her skills against Michelle Li and the Commonwealth Games champions Chris and Gabrielle Adcock too played a pivotal role in Pune's journey.

Bengaluru Raptors

Bengaluru Raptors

Pune takes on a team that started slowly only to accelerate towards the end to make their way to the top. The Bengaluru Raptors showed exceptional resilience as they remain in the hunt for their second consecutive title.

World No. 2 Tai Tzu Ying has won all her six matches while World Championships bronze medallist Sai Praneeth has got back to winning ways to take the team into the semis. With Brice Leverdez delivering for the team as well and with Olympic silver medallist Chan Peng Soon in the squad, it would be hard for anyone to topple the Season 4 champions.

Source: Press Release

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Story first published: Friday, February 7, 2020, 16:56 [IST]
Other articles published on Feb 7, 2020
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