Chris Adcock and Gabrielle Adcock held their nerve in the final match against Bengaluru Raptors to give Pune 7 Aces the win.
Pune 7 Aces made it two wins from two in the Premier Badminton League after a hard-fought 4-3 win over Bengaluru Raptors at the Babu Banarasi Das U.P. Badminton Academy in Lucknow on Monday. B Sai Praneeth led the fightback for Bengaluru Raptors after Kazumasa Sakai won the first match for Pune 7 Aces. However, Chris Adcock and Gabrielle Adcock won the final tie of the evening to give Pune 7 Aces the win.
Bengaluru Raptors debutant Ansal Yadav raced to a 5-1 lead in the opening match against Kazumasa Sakai and grew in confidence to move into a 10-4 advantage. Kazumasa Sakai, though, forged a brilliant comeback and saved four game points before bagging the first game 15-14.
The second game saw Kazumasa Sakai take control of the game right from the outset and led throughout before winning the game 15-9 to help Pune 7 Aces clinch the opening match of the evening.
India’s top male badminton player B. Sai Praneeth, ranked 11th in the world, took to the court next for Bengaluru Raptors and faced Pune 7 Aces’ Loh Kean Yew. Sai Praneeth began the game well and it was a tight affair, but Loh Kean Yew won the first game 15-10.
The second game saw B. Sai Praneeth come into his own and dominate to win it 15-7 and take the match into the decider. The final game was a tense one with the score tied at 8-8 as neither player refused to budge. However, B. Sai Praneeth upped the ante towards the end of the game and went on to clinch it 15-8 to make the tie all square at 1-1 for Bengaluru Raptors.
"It was a good game," Sai Praneeth said. "I saw him beat (Parupalli) Kashyap the last time. I am really happy with the win and I hope to continue the momentum. This is definitely a confidence booster. Hope this game is the turning point for us."
The third match of the evening – a trump match – witnessed Pune 7 Aces’ Rituparna Das go up against Bengaluru Raptors’ Tai Tzu Ying, who is currently ranked second in the world. Tai Tzu Ying made light work of Rituparna Das in the first game by beating her 15-3.
Rituparna Das started with more intent and purpose in the second game to move into an 8-2 lead. Tai Tzu Ying, though, used all her experience and forced her way back into the game before winning it 15-9 to give Bengaluru Raptors a 3-1 lead going into the last two matches of the tie.
The fourth tie – the men’s doubles match – of the evening was another trump match. Hendra Setiawan and Chirag Shetty from Pune 7 Aces went up against Bengaluru Raptors’ Rian Agung Saputro and Arun George.
Both teams looked to be aggressive and put together some sensational rallies that had the crowd on the edge of their seats. The first game went down to the wire, but Hendra Setiawan and Chirag Shetty held their nerve to win it 15-14 for Pune 7 Aces.
The second game was much more straightforward for Hendra Setiawan and Chirag Shetty as they romped to a comfortable 15-3 win in the second game over Rian Agung Saputro and Arun George to make it 3-3 overall ahead of the final tie of the evening.
The last tie saw Pune 7 Aces’ Chris Adcock and Gabrielle Adcock take on Bengaluru Raptors’ Chan Peng Soon and Eom Hye Won in the mixed doubles match. The Bengaluru Raptors won the first game 15-10, while Pune 7 Aces won the second game 15-11 to take the match into the decider.
The decider was a real nail-biter with both teams matching each other shot for shot. However, it was Pune 7 Aces that eventually emerged triumphant after edging Bengaluru Raptors 15-12 in the final game of the match.
The win against Bengaluru Raptors propelled Pune 7 Aces to second in the standings with nine points from two matches, while the southerners now find themselves in third spot in the Premier Badminton League points table having secured just as many points albeit with more matches played.