IBL: Banga Beats out of semi-finals race

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Pune, Aug 24: Banga Beats' hopes of reaching the semi-finals of the Indian Badminton League went up in smoke after they lost their must-win match against hosts Pune Pistons 1-4 at the Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex, Balewadi here on Friday (August 23).

Points Table; Schedule

It was a Bangalorean who started the demolition of Banga Beats with Anup Sridhar notching up an upset 21-12 21-18 victory against Hu Yun in the first men's singles to give Pune a 1-0 lead.

Bangalorean Anup Sridhar, who plays for Pune Pistons, celebrates his win. Photo: IBL

World number three Juliane Schenk put it across Carolina Marin 21-20 21-10 in the women's singles to take Pune to a commanding position. Trailing 0-2, Bangalore's Carsten Mogensen and Akshay Dewalkar then took the court but lost 18-21 18-21 against the experienced pair of Joachim Fischer Nielsen and Kiong Tan Wee which allowed the Pistons to take an unassailable 3-0 lead.

The second men's singles and mixed doubles matches between Pune and Bangalore have now been rendered inconsequential. "We are in good form and we have a good chance to win the tournament. It's the fans who helped us with their cheers. It is great to win at home," Wee said after the match.

Earlier, Anup was 1-4 down early on but the Bangalorean fought back brilliantly and entered the first break leading 7-5 in the opening game. The 30-year-old then rode on his powerful smashes to outwit Yun and lead 14-7 at the second break, before comfortably pocketing the first game.

World number 8 Yun once again surged ahead in the second game and lead 7-6 at one stage but Anup did not wilt under pressure and kept breathing down his neck at 12-14 in the second break. The current world no.129 Indian produced a number of powerful smashes to get back into the lead even though Yun was equally remarkable with his game.

In the end, it was the Indian who had the last laugh. "I don't think I played my best game but a few shots really helped me win the match. I love Pune crowd, they are simply awesome. We need this spirit to go on till the end of the League," Anup said after the match.

Bangalore's icon player Parupalli Kashyap squandered a one-game lead to suffer a 21-19 18-21 4-11 shock defeat to Sourabh Verma of Pune in the second men's singles.

Mixed doubles pair of Carston Mogensen and Carolina finally brought some cheers for their fans as they defeated Pune's Joachim Nielsen Fischer and Ashwini Ponnappa 20-21 21-14 11-8 in the fifth and final match.

PTI

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