New Delhi: In an electrifying 2017 Premier Badminton League (PBL) final, Chennai Smashers captured their first PBL title and showed some of the fiery badminton that helped them staved off a comeback from Mumbai Rockets before earning a 4-3 victory at the Siri Fort Complex on Saturday.
Playing in the first match of the tie and also their Trump match, Chennai Smashers’ husband-wife duo – Chris and Gabby Adcock closed out the first set with 11-9 against Nipitphon Puangpuapech and Nadiezda Zieba of Mumbai Rockets. The 2014 Commonwealth Games gold medalist from Chennai Smashers then charged past the Mumbai Rockets pair 11-6 in the second set to grab two points for the Smashers.
Rio Olympics women’s singles silver medalist P.V. Sindhu of Chennai Smashers along with Sung Ji-Hyun of Mumbai Rockets lived up to the billing in front of the fired-up crowd in Delhi as both were engaging in a 29-shot rally before Sindhu could score her first point. Sindhu and Sung upped the intensity throughout the first set before Sindhu won the first set 11-8.
Sindhu drew thunderous cheers from the crowd when she eventually claimed the second set 11-8 to give Chennai Smashers a huge 3-0 lead.
After losing their first two matches, Mumbai Rockets faced do or die in the men’s doubles match. In Mumbai Rockets’ ‘Trump match’, Lee Yong Dae and Nipitphon Puangpuapech showed plenty of nerves to see off Chris Adcock and Mads Pieler Kolding of Chennai Smashers 12-10, 11-6 to narrow the deficit to 2-3.
H.S. Prannoy of Chennai Smashers then tried to blast his way to victory with raw aggression against Parupalli Kashyap of Mumbai Rockets, but Kashyap was not going down without a fight. Both were trying to outpace each other with their attacking game, before Prannoy emerged triumphant with 11-4, 8-11, 11-8 to level the overall score at 3-3 and to extend his unbeaten streak in 2017 PBL to seven matches.
Prannoy’s victory sent the 2017 PBL final to the wire.
The last men’s singles match between Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk of Chennai Smashers and Ajay Jayaram of Mumbai Rockets was exciting from the get go. After dropping the first set, Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk looked red-hot and was much energetic, calm and confident to eke out a 9-11, 11-7, 11-3 win, handling Chennai Smashers their maiden Premier Badminton League title.