PBL moves to Bengaluru for final leg, Awadhe Warriors face Chennai Smashers today
On January 8, Bengaluru Raptors will take on Mumbai Rockets, after defeating Saina Nehwal-led North Eastern Warriors on Saturday.
Bengaluru: After the successful completion of four legs, the Vodafone Premier Badminton League Season 4 moved to Bengaluru on January 7 for the final leg and the grand finale. In the first match, Kanteerava Stadium will witness a battle between the third-placed Awadhe Warriors and the Season 2 champions Chennai Smashers.
On January 8, Bengaluru Raptors will take on Mumbai Rockets. Kidambi Srikanth and B Sai Praneeth combined to lead the Bengaluru Raptors to victory over the Saina Nehwal-led North Eastern Warriors at the Premier Badminton League Season 4 here on Saturday. North Eastern Warriors leader Saina's scintillating performance in her Trump match could not make much of a difference to her team's fortunes as the Warriors slumped to their second consecutive defeat.
Awadhe Warriors are currently enjoying good fortunes and have 16 points in their kitty, the Smashers have been struggling and only have a meagre 10 points. The Warriors will come into this match after a thunderous 6-(-1) victory over the Ahmedabad Smash Masters. The Chennai brigade, on the other hand, was blanked 0-5 by the Mumbai Rockets in their last match.
The Warriors are clearly high on confidence at the moment. The presence of the former World No. 1 Son Wan Ho has bolstered their men's singles line-up especially after the Korean finished the 2018 season with two titles. Lee Dong Keun too has played his part well as the No. 2 player, as validated by his strong performance against Sourabh Verma in Awadhe's most recent outing.
The Chennai team who are known for being table crashers and with the presence of the likes of Parupalli Kashyap and Rajiv Ouseph, the Warriors cannot tread lightly. Both the Chennai shuttlers boast of Commonwealth Games medals and have a vast experience in the international circuit. Ouseph also went on to stun the former world champion Viktor Axelsen this season and would be gunning to cause yet another huge upset.
It's the women singles encounter that could be tricky and a lot could depend on its outcome. Awadhe's World No. 10 Beiwen Zhang meets Chennai's World No. 11 Sung Ji Hyun. Sung has a 3-1 head-to-head record over Zhang but it is interesting to note that the Awadhe shuttler won their last showdown.
In men's doubles, the Warriors would be looking up to the combination of Yang Lee and Christiansen to put them ahead against the likely duo of Sumeeth Reddy and Adcock.