PBL 2018 | Ahmedabad and Chennai to lock horns in battle of equals

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PBL 2018 | Ahmedabad and Chennai to lock horns in battle of equals

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SportsCafe Desk

01/06/2018

Ahmedabad Smash Masters will face a tough task in the match against Chennai Smashers who are desperate to secure their first victory at home court in Chennai. However, the fans will be eager to see the face-off between two golden girls of world badminton – PV Sindhu and Tai Tzu Ying.

A spirited Awadhe Warriors saw off a strong challenge from Ahmedabad Smash Masters by 4-3 points in the Premier Badminton League in the packed BBD UPBA on Tuesday. On the other hand, in an unfortunate turn of events, defending champions Chennai Smashers went down to Delhi Dashers after they had to concede the last match of the tie due to an ankle injury to Gabrielle Adcock mid-way into their first game in Chennai. So, the shocking losses left the two teams to do some major course correction in what is expected to be a cracking game. 

Tai Tzu Ying vs PV Sindhu

The match of the day as two of the biggest stars of the game will take on each other. Despite losing to Korea's Sung Ji Hyun, ranked 6th in the world, in her last game in the league, Sindhu has the ability to make a stunning comeback and that will be enough inspiration for World No.1 Tai to prepare hard. Although Tai is enjoying the form of her life, she needs to bring her best to get the better of the Indian ace. While the Taiwanese’s deceptive play has been her strength, the lanky Indian has a very good baseline game and the Smash Masters’ ace needs to be careful of that. 

Tanongsak Saemsomboonsuk vs Sourabh Verma

This is the easiest draw that Sourabh could have asked for. After beating Pratul Joshi in the first match left, right, centre, he struggled against Lee Hyun IL and after losing the first game, he failed to come up with a fresh game plan before eventually losing the match. In the third match, Parupalli Kashyap’s experience helped him get the better of Verma and that must have left him disappointed and he should want to surge that off when he takes on 17th ranked Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk, who hasn’t had a best of the season last year. 

HS Prannoy vs Brice Leverdez

Prannoy has been on a 10-match unbeaten streak and rose above the “giant killer” tag to embrace consistency in a big way and that will be enough to instill fears in the mind of World No. 24 Brice Leverdez. The 31-year-old Frenchman had beaten Chong Wei in a freak result in Denmark Open last year and did an encore by beating the former World No.1 again at the French Open this year. Surely, he has it in him to take down the giants and won’t get a better chance than today to end the Indian’s record run in the league. 

Law Cheuk Him/Lee Chun Hei Reginald vs Yang Lee/B Sumeeth Reddy (Men’s doubles)

After losing their first game of the match against Hyderabad Hunters, the Smash Masters’ pair made some tactical changes to their play and ensured that they restricted the number of smash opportunities they afforded the opposition. That helped them win the next two games to seal the match, but today, they will be up against the pair of Lee and Reddy who downed the Russian duo of Ivan Sozonov and Vladimir Ivanov in their last match against Delhi Dashers. It will be an interesting game for sure. 

Kamilla Rytter Juhl/ Law Cheuk Him vs Gabrielle and Chris Adcock (Mixed doubles)

Both the pairs will come to the match on the back of defeats in their last match, but Ahmedabad Smash Masters’ duo can harbor hopes of a win more than their counterparts. In their match against Delhi Dashers, Gabrielle suffered a knee injury and that forced the duo to leave the second game mid-way. Although their participation has been in doubt, if the duo takes the court, they may not be able to exert the same dominance as they would have been otherwise. 

Telecast: Star Sports 1, Star Sports HD 1

Live stream: http://www.hotstar.com/sports/badminton

You can follow the live blog here.

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